Dodgers activate catcher Ellis prior to opener

Dodgers activate catcher Ellis prior to opener

Dodgers activate catcher Ellis prior to opener

PITTSBURGH -- Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Friday, and catcher Ramon Hernandez was designated for assignment.

Ellis had been out of action since June 2 with a strained oblique. The move was retroactive to May 30, allowing for a Friday return. Ellis started at catcher and batted seventh in the opener against the Pirates.

In the 14 games Ellis missed, Tim Federowicz caught 10, hitting .225 with two home runs, eight RBIs and 16 strikeouts in 40 at-bats. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said if Federowicz was going to be in the big leagues, he wanted the 25-year-old to play, not sit on the bench and see the field once a week.

That's why Federowicz was better off in Triple-A earlier in the season. But now, Mattingly said he wants to get Federowicz more playing time to spell Ellis as the long season wears on, and feels comfortable with him behind the plate.

"We're at that part of the season where we're playing a bunch of games in a row, Fed's going to have to play," Mattingly said. "He's been fine. He's done a good job with our pitching."

Federowicz hit .418 with a 1.348 OPS in Triple-A Albuquerque this year. He had eight home runs, eight doubles and 25 RBIs in 79 at-bats.

The 37-year-old Hernandez has played for six different teams over his 15-year Major League career, and hit .208 with three homers and six RBIs in 48 at-bats for the Dodgers this season.

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.