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.
The Mariners announced on Tuesday that second baseman Dee Gordon has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a strained left quad. Infielder Tim Lopes was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and pitcher Parker Markel was designated for assignment.
Gordon, 31, apparently suffered the injury diving back into first base during Monday’s game against the Rangers. The speedster is batting .280/.306/.367 with 14 extra-base hits, 27 RBI, 26 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 284 plate appearances.
Lopes, 25, will provide infield depth for the Mariners while Gordon is on the mend. At Tacoma, Lopes hit .302/.362/.480 with 10 home runs, 60 RBI, 58 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases in 403 PA.
Gordon’s injury comes at a bad time for the Mariners with the July 31 trade deadline on the horizon. He is under contract for 2020 at $13.5 million and has a 2021 club option worth $14 million with a $1 million buyout. A contending team might have traded for Gordon. Now the Mariners will have to wait until the offseason to explore that possibility.