A.J. Ellis impressing Mattingly with defense

A.J. Ellis impressing Mattingly with defense

LOS ANGELES -- A lot of the talk surrounding A.J. Ellis' surprising season has been about his bat and what he has been able to do offensively. But on a Dodgers team that has had to mix and match players throughout the field defensively, the catcher has been consistent behind the plate.

Ellis threw out a pair of White Sox baserunners on Saturday and he has now thrown out 20 runners on the basepaths, the second-most in the Majors.

He has thrown out 39 percent of attempted base stealers, which puts him toward the top in the league.

"The good thing about A.J. is he's not looked at as a guy who's got a cannon," manager Don Mattingly said. "A.J. has really just worked over the years on getting rid of it and being accurate."

Mattingly added that the key for Ellis has been not trying to do too much on the throw.

Fellow catcher Matt Treanor said he and Ellis work on footwork often and the throw around the bases once a homestand.

Ellis' success catching runners is also a credit to the pitching staff's improvement in terms of dictating the tempo of the game, Mattingly said.