Dodgers starting catcher A.J. Ellis will undergo surgery on his left knee to repair a meniscus tear, the club announced. The anticipated timeline for return is between 4 and 6 weeks, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
That outlook is much better than that reported for Rangers catcher Geovany Soto, who is expected to be gone for ten to twelve weeks while rehabbing his own meniscus procedure. Wilson Ramos of the Nationals is also on the shelf after undergoing wrist surgery, and is said to face a four-to-eight week absence.
While the loss hurts in the immediate term, a replacement may well come from within. Los Angeles has last year's backup, Tim Federowicz, parked at Triple-A after electing to go with the out-of-options Drew Butera in the number two role to start the year. The club also has Miguel Olivo and J.C. Boscan under contract in the minors, though both would need to be added to the 40-man roster.
If the Dodgers were to check into the market, they would find a few options available via free agency, though it is not clear that any would be an upgrade over Federowicz. Chris Gimenez, Ramon Hernandez, Kelly Shoppach, and Yorvit Torrealba are the unsigned backstops with substantial MLB experience.