Evan Longoria nearing minor league rehab assignment

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Good news for the (currently) first-place Rays.

According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, third baseman Evan Longoria “was encouraged after running the bases” on Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field and is aiming to begin a minor league rehab assignment by the end of next week.

“I felt good,” Longoria told the Times after his workout. “We’re still moving in the right direction.”

He’s likely to spend around 10 days playing in minor league games before being cleared for activation. The 26-year-old was batting .329/.433/.561 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 23 games before tearing a hamstring.

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.