B.J. Upton gets scheduled day off, according to Rays

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B.J. Upton, who had played in every game since the All-Star break, is getting a planned day off on Sunday, manager Joe Maddon said.

It’s been scheduled since last week, he added.

Maddon didn’t know it at the time, but he sparked a million rumors when he removed Upton late in a 10-4 game Friday against the Royals.  With Desmond Jennings having been scratched from Triple-A Durham’s lineup, the move appeared to signal a trade involving Upton.  Upton, though, stayed put and he was in Saturday’s lineup, going 0-for-4 in a 5-4 loss.

Upton had an excellent first half of July, bue he’s 6-for-40 with no extra-base hits since the All-Star break.  The stretch has dropped his OPS from .752 to .706.

Jennings is starting in center field for the Rays today.

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.