A.J. Ellis came over to Philadelphia in late August in the trade that sent Carlos Ruiz to the Dodgers. After a solid 2015, he hit just .216/.301/.290 with two homers in 196 plate appearances last season. His walk rate dipped below 10 percent after sitting around 15 percent in each of the two prior seasons. He did make more contact than in 2015, but was hurt by a low BABIP and a low HR/FB ratio. The drop in power output is a sign of further natural decline for Ellis, who will be 36 years old in April. He should still have a role as a reserve this season, now backing up J.T. Realmuto after inking a one-year deal with Miami, thanks mostly to his leadership in the clubhouse and solid defense behind the plate.
Ellis agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Marlins on Wednesday, ESPN's Buster Olney reports. Known for being great with pitchers, Ellis is the epitome of a player who is better in reality than fantasy. Last year Ellis hit .216, and he has a career .239/.340/.351 slash line with 37 home runs in 555 games. He will serve as J.T. Realmuto's backup, and should catch once or twice each week.
Ellis became a free agent Thursday, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Ellis came over to the Phillies in late-August in the trade that sent Carlos Ruiz to the Dodgers. He hit just .216/.301/.290 with two homers in 171 at-bats this past season. The Phillies are expected to have some interest in bringing Ellis back to serve as their backup catcher next season.
Ellis went 2-for-4 with a double and three-run homer in Friday's 8-4 loss to the Braves. The backstop's 346-foot shot off Joel De La Cruz in the second plated Darin Ruf and Freddy Galvis, giving the Phillies what looked like a solid 4-0 early lead. It was only the veteran's second homer of the season, but he has now contributed a pair of doubles, Friday's homer and five RBI in just three games in a Philadelphia uniform.
Ellis went 1-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI Sunday in his first game with the Phillies. Ellis' two-run double broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning in a game the Phillies would go on to win. With roster expansion around the corner, Ellis might not see more than a start a week if the Phillies bring up Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp from the minors next month.
Ellis is expected to make his Phillies debut Sunday against the Mets, Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal reports. Acquired from the Dodgers on Thursday in exchange for Carlos Ruiz, Ellis is scheduled to catch Sunday's starter, Vince Velasquez, in what will be his first action in a Phillies uniform. The veteran has struggled mightily this season, posting a .194/.285/.252 slash line while with the Dodgers.