Posts Tagged ‘A.J. Ellis’

Case for A.J. Ellis

May 20, 2012

I’ll admit it (raises hand shamefully). I was NOT on the A.J. Ellis bandwagon when the season started. I figured he was the ultimate, lifetime backup catcher and that his pleas for playing time was a bunch of malarkey (I actually used to know someone with the last name Mularkey, so that word always weirds me out).

Watching Spring Training, I’d rue the day we ever set Russell Martin free to the Yankees. And then the 2012 regular season rolled around.

Did anyone in their right minds have A.J. Ellis as one of the best all-around catchers in baseball? If you said “Yes” just now, you are an evil and a heathen and you shall burn in Hellllllllsinki.

Yikes, that was harsh. I hear it’s cold there.

Anyway, as of the day this post is published (I say it that way, because technically I’m FINISHING it on Tuesday, May 22nd. Shhhhhh. But it’s posted as May 20th. Shut up.), Ellis is hitting .321 with a .446 on-base percentage.

Those numbers are good for third and first, respectively, among a loaded class of National League catchers. And the OBP isn’t even remotely close. We Dodger fans have gotten used to Ellis getting on base, one way or another. And he’s a major reason why we are holding the best record in baseball.

Having your number seven hitter getting on base nearly half the time he comes to the plate is an invaluable tool to a successful lineup. It’s a luxury most teams can’t claim, and never will. And despite the gaudy offensive numbers, and the fact that he has almost flawlessly handled the second-best pitching staff in the Majors…nobody knows who the hell A.J. is.

And we’ve all seen it a million times; that’s going to extend to the All-Star voting. With names like Yadier Molina, Brian McCann and Buster Posey, along with breakout seasons from Carlos Ruiz and Jonathan Lucroy, finding a spot on the National League team would be tough for Ellis.

But he absolutely deserves to go. And not in the “please let him in, he’s such a nice guy and he really wants it” type of way. He has played his way into a backup role on that team, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better role player to have on a squad that determines home-field advantage for the World Series.

I’ll tell you what – as a Dodger fan, with my team now a legitimate postseason threat, I feel a hell of a lot more comfortable with Ellis pinch-hitting in the eighth inning of a tie game in the All-Star Game with that home-field advantage on the line than McCann of the Braves and his .254 average.

But history and popularity says, McCann will be in Kansas City in July. Ellis will be at home, enjoying his days off.

Here’s my take on it:

Based on all-around game, Molina is the hands-down starter for the National League. He’s a four-time Gold Glover and now the best hitting catcher in the league (apologies to Ruiz, who is having a great season, but everyone outside of Philly knows this won’t last). McCann and Posey are the big names who should be left out because, though they are having solid seasons, have not been as good all-around as the other four. If three catchers go to the All-Star Game on the N.L. roster, I’m left with Molina, backed up by Ruiz, then Ellis.

If it’s two, I’m torn. Props to Lucroy for stepping up this season, but your 7-RBI game skews the power stats a bit. And you can’t handle the glove as well as my man A.J. While I’d love to see Ruiz earn that All-Star bid, how are you going to ignore a guy who has such a high OBP?

While it’s an unloved stat still, getting on base is the most important part of an offense. Here’s a simple formula for all you math duds out there like me: get on base, move to the next base, score more runs than the other team. That’s the basic idea behind baseball, and nobody is doing it better this year than Ellis.

I know this is a big ol’ waste of time, considering it’s going to be Molina, McCann and Posey in the All-Star Game. But these things must be blogged about, even if just so my poor little head doesn’t explode all over my laptop’s screen.

Just keep the numbers in mind when voting, and cast your vote for the Dodgers’ A.J. Ellis for the 2012 All-Star Game! Our team’s World Series home field depends on it!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman

The Most Pun You’ll Ever Have In a Baseball Blog

April 13, 2012

I love puns. I even still say “Oh, dear” when I see a deer on the side of the road. And chuckle to myself. It’s a personal problem.

I also love baseball. And with a plethora of goofy names at my disposal, I find myself stumbling across accidental puns every single day when talking baseball.

Now, I like my fantasy baseball a lot. But I’m curious – would one of my teams drafted purely on stats and analysis, beat my newest team? The one I’m going to build right here in front of your very eyes? The all-time pun team??

Here goes nothin’:

Catcher – John Buck

Get your mind outta the gutter, people! No cussing necessary! We could be talking about how John “bucks” the trend of most catchers. Perhaps he wears one of those big, stupid cowboy belt Buck-les. When he hits a homer, is it like Buck-shot?

Honorable mention – A.J. Ellis: What the Ellis going on?!

First Base – Justin Smoak

Too easy. He hit a home run in Japan to kick off the 2012 season, and I saw no less than 3,587 tweets within ten minutes about how Justin “Smoaked” the ball. When he’s playing poorly, could he be “smoaking” too much druggage? In a rain delay is he Smoak on the water?

Honorable mention – Adam Dunn: Get ‘er Dunnnnnnn!

Second Base – Jemile Weeks

One of the things I’m really looking forward to this season is for Weeks to start heating up. When he drops a big bomb this year, it’ll be a lot of fun to pull out the double whammy: “He hit that ball a Je-mile! It took Weeks to come down!”

Honorable mention – Dan Uggla: Ohhh man, that was an Uggla swing. (Like…ugly? No?)

Third Base – David Wright

Not only is Wright one of the best players in baseball when healthy, you can expect plenty of easy puns with that last name. Is grabbing David as my third baseman the Wright move? You tell me!

Honorable mention – David Freese: Tonight’s forecast…a FREEEEEEESE!

Shortstop – Derek Jeter

“Jeters never prosper” is still one of the best fantasy team names I’ve ever seen. I really can’t think of much else that works for him but “cheater.” Given the massive amount of fans that seem to hate him, I guess that’s appropriate though.

Honorable mention – Troy Tulowitzki: He threw that ball wayyyyyy Tulo. Heh.

Outfielders – Corey Hart, Andre Ethier, Hunter Pence

That Corey guy on the Brewers really has a Hart of gold doesn’t he? Ethier that or all the ladies Hart Corey! I can’t decide – I Ethier take Andre or Hunter. But Hunter always swings for the Pences.

Honorable mentions – Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino, Jay Bruce: Despite being so Brauny, Jay is a Bruce cannon. Can he still get a Victori…no.

Starting Pitchers – Mark Buehrle, Roy Halladay, Yu Darvish, Matt Cain, Mike Minor

For the defense behind Roy, it feels like a Halladay when he’s pitching. Cain Mark be any more Buehrle? And the Yu puns are just a Minor offense. Do Yu think Yu knows all the words to Yu-th of a Nation by P.O.D.? I surely do. But, do Yu?

Honorable mentions – Doug Fister, Chris Sale, Matt Moore, J.A. Happ, Phil Hughes: It’s a fire Sale in Chicago this year…could they be any Moore pathetic? I guess it’s just Happ-enstance. Chicago fans must be Hughes-d to it by now. (No, I’m not going to even try with Fister…use your imagination, you dirty scoundrels…)

Relief Pitchers – Grant Balfour, J.J. Putz, Brandon League, Jason Motte

I can’t think of a surname worse for a pitcher than Balfour. Usually, that means you just walked the guy. J.J. really Putz people in their places in this League. Was that play even League-l? He’s definitely Motte your average closer.

Honorable mentions – Todd Coffey, Javy Guerra, Aaron Crow, Tyler Chatwood: I could really use a good cup of Coffey. Sweet Crow hop, Aaron! You know what Chatwood be weird? Talking about Javy the Guerracuda. (Okay, that’s my own creation on the last one. I just love me some Javy in the 9th inning!)


There you have it. The all-pun team of 2012! My outfield and pitching is pretty loaded, but I could use a little help at catcher, first and shortstop. I’m accepting all and every trade, so comment below and send those ideas my way! Happy Friday the 13th…don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman. Thanks for reading.


%d bloggers like this: