San Diego Padres Must Move On From Catcher A.J. Ellis

SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 2: A.J. Ellis /

A.J.Ellis has been less than impressive both at the plate and behind the plate this season. The San Diego Padres will benefit from making a move, soon.

When the San Diego Padres signed A.J. Ellis to a one-year/$1.25 million contract this spring, they were hoping he would seamlessly slot in as a backup to Austin Hedges. Ellis, the preferred catcher for Clayton Kershaw when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has yet to provide any production in the limited opportunities presented to him.

In 25 plate appearances, Ellis has managed only three hits (all singles) and three walks. His slash line of .150/.292/.150 has been lackluster to say the least. With his inability to produce at the plate, defensive miscues, and less than stellar throws on stolen base attempts, it appears that Ellis’ career is nearing a close.

He has allowed four stolen bases, managing to gun down only one runner. With these unimpressive statistics, Andy Green must think of a long-term replacement who can propel Padres.

Possible replacements for the San Diego Padres.

Raffy Lopez could offer major league experience and a little pop in the lower half of the batting order. In 48 at-bats for El Paso (AAA), Lopez is hitting .271/.314/.855. He has gone deep three times, drawn three walks and accounted for eight runs driven in. However, he’s 30-years-old and has only 40 games of professional baseball under his belt.

Austin Allen has been impressive in his limited time with the San Antonio Missions. He’s currently hitting .355 with a remarkable 1.145 OPS in 16 games. Of his 22 hits, six have been home runs and six have been doubles.

When you’re mashing the ball in Double-A, you’re only one phone call away from the big leagues. After breaking out at Lake Elsinore last season and continuing that success with San Antonio, the 24-year-old catcher may get that call soon.

A more likely option may be El Paso Chihuahuas hitter, Brett Nicholas. Nicholas has found his groove with the Padres, recently winning Pacific League Player of the Week honors for his breakout performance. His offense could prove valuable as a pinch-hitter on nights he isn’t behind the plate.

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Ellis may be the personal catcher of Bryan Mitchell, but that doesn’t help his cause. The San Diego Padres need to move on from A.J. Ellis, especially if they honestly believe they can compete in 2018.