2013 Dodgers in Review #6: 2B Mark Ellis

November 5, 2013 at 10:42 am | Posted in 2013 in Review, Mark Ellis | Leave a comment

90topps_markellis.270/.323/.351 480pa 6hr .300 wOBA 1.8 fWAR C+

2013 in brief: Gave you the standard “mediocre offense, good defense, ow my leg” season you’d expect.

2014 status: Free agent after the Dodgers declined his option.

Previous: 2012

******

One of the flaws of this grading system is that when a guy has exactly the season you expect him to, a grade in the C range feels unfair. Mark Ellis had exactly — exactly — the year you would have anticipated, and while there was value in that, it also means he didn’t give you any more than you’d think. So, C+ it is.

And when I say exactly, I do mean that. Seriously, last year at this time I reviewed his 2012 and said, “injury-prone veteran – wait for it – got injured and missed about six weeks, but generally provided quality defense and adequate offense,” and damned if I couldn’t just stick with that for 2013 as well.

Once again, Ellis got off to a very nice start — after hitting two homers among four hits in New York on April 23, he was hitting .348/.370/.470 — and once again, it was absolutely unsustainable (.396 BABIP) and soon to be interrupted by a leg injury for approximately the 19th year in a row. This time, it was an injured quad on April 26, but that’s when the weirdness began. Despite the fact that similar injuries usually took weeks or months to heal, the Dodgers insisted he’d be fine and kept him on the active roster. They kept him there, absurdly, and it became a morbid daily joke:

April 30:

Mark Ellis remains active yet probably unavailable. (Why no move has been made there yet is just beyond me.)

May 1:

Of course, I guess I don’t know any longer what is worthy of a disabled list trip. This is the fifth consecutive game that Mark Ellis has sat out with his quad pull, and it’s getting a little absurd here. He’s still feeling pain while running — which is, you know, somewhat important for a professional baseball player — and again the team is a man down.

Tomorrow, again, is a day off, but I cannot imagine that this can go longer than that. If you haven’t figured out in another 48 hours from now if Ellis can play, than you have your answer: he can’t.

May 3:

Ellis Watch: Day 7.

Tonight marks the seventh consecutive day that Mark Ellis is active yet out of the lineup (including yesterday’s day off) as he tries to overcome the quad he injured last Friday, and I’ve just run out of explanation here. Yes, he can be placed on the disabled list retroactively if they decide to — and they still might, because a move will have to be made Monday to get Chris Capuano off the disabled list — but that’s not going to get the team back a full week of a playing shorthanded, is it?

May 4:

That, of course, is the case partially because Mark Ellis is still unavailable, on the eighth day since his injury last Friday, and the fact that a team with such injury problems insists on playing a man down for over a week for this is just insane.

May 5:

Another day, and more of the same. This is now the ninth day in a row (eighth game) that Mark Ellis remains active yet unavailable — and the third day in a row that Adrian Gonzalez was originally in the lineup before being scratched.

It’s truly, absolutely, indefensible at this point, and I’ve run out of ways to explain it.

And finally, mercifully, on May 6, a full 10 days after he was hurt, during a period in which Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez were dealing with injuries of their own, he was finally placed on the disabled list. I realize we’ve veered way off from an Ellis review to a Ned Colletti one at this point, but that’s what I remember most about his season.

Ellis returned shortly thereafter, but other than a few highlights — a walkoff against the Yankees on July 31, and his bowling ball takeout of two Cardinals in NLCS Game 5

…it was a typical Ellis season, hitting only .265/.319/.325 against righties, which didn’t stop Don Mattingly from hitting him second more often than was warranted. Ellis is what he is, and that’s not a bad thing; it’s just not an exciting thing.

With Alexander Guerrero in the mix, Ellis is no longer needed, and I’m happy to see someone with more upside around. (Though I certainly saw the argument for hanging on to his option.) Still, for approximately $7.7m, Ellis contributed 4.5 WAR in his time with Los Angeles, and that’s not a bad return on investment at all. So long, Law Firm.

******

Next! Can you believe Skip Schumaker is actually getting lumped in as a second baseman here?

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