Phillies sign Mariners castoff Jack Cust to minor-league deal

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Released by the Mariners last week, Jack Cust has signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

If he makes it back to the majors Cust will have gained 27 games in the standings by going from Seattle to Philadelphia, but he’d be no more than a bench bat for the Phillies and the defensively challenged left-handed hitter landing in the NL is a surprise.

Cust still has very good on-base skills, drawing 44 walks in 270 plate appearances, but that comes with a low batting average, tons of strikeouts, diminished power, and poor speed from a guy whose best position is designated hitter.

With that said, his extreme patience and high on-base percentages make Cust a solid pinch-hitting option even if his 25-homer pop is gone for good and it’s a worthwhile flier for the Phillies.

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.