Dodgers won't use Ellis as Kershaw's personal catcher

Veteran will likely platoon with newcomer Grandal

Dodgers won't use Ellis as Kershaw's personal catcher

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Don Mattingly and Andrew Friedman agree that A.J. Ellis won't be the personal catcher for Clayton Kershaw.

Mattingly said he doesn't want to be boxed in by that limitation as manager and Friedman, president of baseball operations, concurred, adding that Ellis and new catcher Yasmani Grandal "complement each other really well."

Friedman noted that the switch-hitting Grandal is better against right-handed pitching and Ellis is better against left-handed pitching, laying out the makings of a platoon. Ellis has been the primary starting catcher since 2012.

"There are a lot of games to go around," said Friedman. "There's nothing to come out and say this guy starts 72 percent of the time. It's much more for Donnie to write out the lineup that gives us the best chance to win every day."

Kershaw and Ellis in D.R.

Ellis delivered the most telling quote on the day pitchers and catchers reported.

"I don't need to be titled the starting catcher," he said. "I want to be the World Series champion catcher."

Ellis, who turns 34 in April, said he knows he "eventually will transition into playing less than I ever wanted to." He said he will "fight for every opportunity to catch" Kershaw, but knows that Mattingly makes the decisions.

Kershaw said he "loves to throw to A.J.," but it's "Donnie's call."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.