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.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.