Pirates’ prospect Josh Bell undergoes knee surgery

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The Pirates broke the bank last August by signing second-rounder Josh Bell for $5 million, but their investment will miss a good chunk of his first pro season.

According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Bell underwent surgery earlier today to repair the meniscus in his left knee. The 19-year-old outfielder suffered the injury while running the bases Tuesday. The timeline for his return isn’t yet clear, but the Pirates expect him to return before the season is over.

Bell slipped to No. 61 overall in the draft last year after telling teams that he planned on honoring his commitment to the University of Texas. However, the Pirates were able to change his mind by giving him a record bonus for a player drafted outside the first round.

Bell was hitting .274/.288/.403 with one homer, 11 RBI and a .691 OPS over 66 plate appearances with Class A West Virginia prior to the injury. Highly regarded for his power potential, he was ranked as the No. 60 prospect in the game by Baseball America in February.

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.