Johan Santana throws off a mound, feels good

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Stepping on a mound for the first time since September surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow, Johan Santana threw a 24-pitch bullpen session this afternoon at the Mets’ spring training complex in Florida and said afterward that he felt “very good.”
Santana noted that he’s now able to fully extend his arm, which was problematic last season and lessened the effectiveness of his amazing changeup. For now the plan is for Santana to wait until the second week of spring training to make his Grapefruit League debut and then gradually work his way up to throwing 90 pitches by Opening Day, but when the Mets and injuries are involved “plans” tend to change.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.