The nagging hamstring injury that has sidelined Miami Marlins’ backup catcher A.J. Ellis will keep him out of action a little bit longer. The team announced Ellis experienced a little discomfort during a baserunning drill on Monday, and the club is easing his recovery back a bit.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote that Ellis has been dealing with a left hamstring strain since late February. The injury kept him out of the World Baseball Classic as he was supposed to play for Team USA.
"He got going yesterday and was still feeling something," manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday morning. "So we're going to slow him down just a little bit. I don't want to take any chances with him. If he's feeling anything at all, then we're going to slow him down. So he will be a few more days."
On a positive note, the team expects Ellis to be completely healed and ready for the team’s opening day game against the Washington Nationals on April 3.
"Very confident with that," Mattingly said. "For me, the hamstrings are always a mess. They're always tricky. You think you're good, and then you actually start running and the bases usually tell the story, and he ran the bases yesterday."
The one thing Mattingly and the organization fear is another setback, which could mean he is not ready for the regular season, which would also mean the team may need to consider another backstop to backup JT Realmuto.
The 35-year-old catcher was selected by the Dodgers in the 18th round of the 2003 MLB Draft. He has played in the minors with the South Georgia Waves, Vero Beach Dodgers, Double-A Jacksonville Suns, and Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. On September 5, 2008, his contract was purchased by the Dodgers, and he made his debut on September 15.
He signed a one-year deal with Miami in December of last year after the team lost Jeff Mathis in free agency. Ellis played for Mattingly when both were in Los Angeles.