Kerry Wood not close to returning from blister on index finger

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Cubs setup man Kerry Wood has been eligible to return from the disabled list for over 48 hours, and yet there is still no end in sight in his ongoing recovery from a slow-healing blister on his right index finger.

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, Wood has been able to throw with and without padding over the blister, but he’s still not completely free of discomfort. And the Cubs want the blister to heal fully before bringing him back and trusting him in tight late-game situations.

Here’s Cubs manager Mike Quade, speaking to reporters after Saturday’s loss to the Royals:

“I’m trying to understand the blister thing,” Quade said. “It’s somewhat healed, but now you need layers of skin, a thickness, or even a callus if you can get it. He and (trainer Mark O’Neal) ought to have as good a fix on it as anybody because they’ve been through it before. I just wait until they tell me it’s good. I know he’d love to be ready at home (next week) and I hope he is, but I’m not sure of that yet.”

Wood, 34, has a posted a quality 2.25 ERA and 21/10 K/BB ratio in 24 innings of relief this season.

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.