According to Austin Laymance of MLB.com, Mark Ellis suffered a right quad strain in last night’s win over the Brewers. The 35-year-old hurt himself while trying to leg out an infield single in the fifth inning.
Ellis is scheduled to undergo an MRI today to determine the severity, but it sounds like Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is prepared for an extended absence.
“He kind of seemed to be optimistic, but we’ll just have to see,” manager Don Mattingly said after the Dodgers beat the Brewers, 7-5. “Usually guys don’t come out of the game like that and it not be something. I want to be optimistic, but usually you see a guy come out and kind of pull up like that, it’s usually something that’s not going to be a day or two.”
Ellis is off to a hot start this season, hitting .342 (25-for-73) with two home runs, two doubles and 11 RBI in 20 games. Nick Punto replaced Ellis at second base last night, but Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Skip Schumaker are among the other options to fill in.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.