Report: Padres hire A.J. Ellis as special assistant to baseball operations

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MLB.com’s A.J. Cassavell reports that catcher A.J. Ellis has been hired as a special assistant to the Padres’ baseball operations department under executive VP and GM A.J. Preller. That’s a lot of A.J.’s.

Ellis, 37, signed a minor league deal with the Padres almost exactly a year ago and ended up playing 66 games in the big leagues for them in 2018. He hit .272/.378/.344 in 183 plate appearances.

This almost certainly signals the end of Ellis’s playing career. He spent 11 seasons in the big leagues with the Dodgers, Phillies, Marlins, and Padres, batting .239/.340/.352 across 672 games. Along with solid on-base skills, Ellis was known for being a great teammate and his ability to call a good game for his pitchers.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.