Tha Sports Junkies 101

Dodgers and Phillies Swap Catchers

Catchers Joe Warner via


Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies have swapped catchers

Today, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies swapped catchers. In this deal, Dodgers backup catcher A.J. Ellis will be shipped to Philadelphia in exchange for Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash considerations.

The Dodgers will also be sending minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named later to the Phillies along with Ellis.

Ellis had been with the Dodgers for 13 years, 7 of which were at the major league level. Over the years, Ellis and Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw had grown very close. Kershaw and Ellis shared an emotional goodbye on Thursday when news of the trade was handed down.

A.J. had this to say about his relationship with Kershaw:

“Baseball is funny, anything can happen in the future, but to know that in almost all likelihood I will never get to catch him again is without a doubt the most devastating thing I am feeling right now.”

His connection with Kershaw may have been the only thing keeping Ellis at the major league level. In 139 at-bats this season, Ellis is hitting only .194 with one home run and 13 RBI’s.

This move really came down to the fact that Carlos Ruiz can help the Dodgers against left-handed pitching more than Ellis can.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman had this to say about Ruiz’s success against left-handers.

“I think that is a big part of it is him against left-handed pitching, just the quality of at-bat… With Carlos, we felt that we could get more offensive production out of that position.”

Over his 11-year career, Ruiz is batting .275 with an OPS of .814 against lefties. Those numbers drop off to a .275 average and a .722 OPS against righties in his career.

The Dodgers already have their starting catcher of the future in Yasmani Grandal, but the addition of Ruiz allows the Dodgers lineup to be more productive against left-handed pitchers.

Bergjans, the minor league pitcher also headed to Philadelphia is currently in Single-A ball and has a 3-13 record with 133 strikeouts in 130 innings pitched.