aj_ellis_catching_2013-04-09

A.J. Ellis on Framing, Batting Order, and ‘Between Two Palm Trees’

aj_ellis_catching_2013-04-09If we can take a brief moment from our regularly scheduled discussion of whether or not Yasiel Puig is the worst person in the world and if he’ll merely cost the Dodgers the playoffs or cause the entire franchise to fold, I wrote a thing over at FanGraphs on A.J. Ellis and pitch framing based on a conversation we had last weekend in Arizona.

It starts out with this fantastic quote…

“I don’t like it, because it hates me.”

…but turns into Ellis acknowledging that he not only knows that the stats don’t like him, but that he knows exactly where they don’t like him, and the numbers do show that he’s been steadily improving based on that information over the last few years.

So read that! Because it was fun. But also, other things that didn’t quite make it into that article, some of which were things fans had asked me about:

Did he find that pitchers approached him differently in 2013 because he’d had success in 2012?

“There was definitely a scouting report, I think there was a lot of unknown about me my first full year, so now the scouting report’s out there, and guys were much more aggressive. I also think in that first year, I was hitting a lot in the eight hole, with the pitcher behind me, so they were willing to pitch around me, so I was a little more patient, because my goal was to turn the lineup over, or to get on base so they could bunt me over, where last year I was hitting more 5-6-7, so I had to be more aggressive.”

Did he notice all of us calling for Don Mattingly to hit him higher in the lineup in 2012?

“I did, there was a couple of times Donnie hit me second, I think 10 times in my career, and it was fun. I think I’ve hit everywhere except first, third, and fourth. [Editor's note: this is true!] But yeah, I got a kick out of that, that was great. I’d love to get on there and clog the bases for everyone else.”

I also asked what is without a doubt the question the most people wanted to know – When is “Between Two Palm Trees” going to be on SNLA? — which I think he got a kick out of, and while it sounds like he has interest in doing another, his answer was perfectly valid: Between the short spring due to the Australia trip, and the fact that he’s a starting catcher, his time is somewhat limited. However, don’t totally shut the door on another episode sometime this year.

 


About

Mike wrote daily for over six long years (2007-13) about the Dodgers at Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness, which was named 2011′s “Best Sports Blog” by LA Weekly. He can currently be found writing multiple times per week at FanGraphs and ESPN, has been a producer and editor for Sports on Earth, and built The Hardball Times. He lives in New York City and will probably be asleep or on vacation when awesome things happen.