Dodgers News: Yasmani Grandal To Catch Majority Of Clayton Kershaw’s Starts
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While Yasmani Grandal was viewed by many as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting catcher last season, more times than not A.J. Ellis was behind the plate when Clayton Kershaw was on the mound.

Ellis caught 21 of Kershaw’s 33 regular season starts in 2015, as well as both of the ace’s postseason outings. However, statistics reveal Kershaw was more successful with Grandal, not Ellis, behind the plate.

In 143.2 innings with Ellis as his catcher, the lefty had a 2.44 ERA, compared to a 1.62 ERA in 89 innings with Grandal catching him. Of course, some of that could be attributed to the difference in sample size.

Grandal was plagued by an ailing left shoulder throughout the second half last season, which led to a platoon at catcher.

To his credit, Ellis hit well in the second half (.255/.376/.459 with five home runs), while Grandal struggled (.162/.280/.218 with two home runs).

After undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, Grandal is just about back to being 100 percent, and according to ESPN’s Doug Padilla of ESPN, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts intends to have Grandal catch plenty of Kershaw’s starts this season:

Roberts was asked specifically if Grandal will be catching Kershaw more this season. “Sure, and he caught him last year as well,” Roberts said. “He caught him last year and Clayton performed well so the idea of a personal catcher, I don’t see that happening. But there will be times A.J. will catch Kershaw as well.”

Roberts recently said that he doesn’t subscribe to the idea of a personal catcher system, but he does favor match-ups. While he named Grandal the team’s starter, Ellis will still get his opportunities against left-handed pitching:

“I think that Yasmani is the starter and he will get a brunt of the starts,” Roberts said. “He’s had a lot of success against right-handed pitching. A.J. showed that he had a very good season against left-handed pitching.”

Grandal and Kershaw formed the Dodgers’ battery in Thursday’s Cactus League opener against the Chicago White Sox.