Dave Roberts says he’ll shy away from A.J. Ellis as Clayton Kershaw’s personal catcher

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A.J. Ellis has been Clayton Kershaw‘s personal–or at least strongly preferred–catcher since 2012, getting the nod behind the plate for 80 percent of his starts during that time.

However, new Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated that he’s less likely than predecessor Don Mattingly to go out of his way to pair Ellis and Kershaw up while sitting primary catcher Yasmani Grandal, telling Doug Padilla of ESPN Los Angeles:

[Grandal] caught him last year and Clayton performed well so the idea of a personal catcher, I don’t see that happening. But there will be times A.J. will catch Kershaw as well.

Roberts hinted at more of a traditional platoon in which Grandal starts versus right-handed pitchers and Ellis starts versus left-handed pitchers, but because Kershaw has made it very clear that he always prefers to work with Ellis that switch may be easier said than done.

Last season Grandal totaled 100 starts behind the plate, while Ellis received 55 starts. Two-thirds for Grandal and one-third for Ellis is something that makes sense from both a workload standpoint and a production standpoint, so it would be just a matter of basing the playing time more on the opposing pitcher rather than on Kershaw.