Allen Craig returns from surgery to hit in minor-league game

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Chris Carpenter’s setback is the biggest story in Cardinals camp, but they did get some good news yesterday as Allen Craig returned from knee surgery to play in a minor-league game.

It was Craig’s first action since Game 7 of the World Series, although he was limited strictly to hitting and didn’t run or play defense.

Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Craig remains likely to begin the season on the disabled list and may even have to wait a while before being cleared for full-on game participation, but manager Mike Matheny called yesterday “a step forward’ and added that “if he feels good then we move forward … we have to see how his body reacts.”

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.