Ryan Howard not expected back until after All-Star break

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Ryan Howard is almost ready to play, though it still won’t be for the Phillies anytime soon. According to CSNPhilly.com:

Howard will be in Philadelphia Wednesday for functional testing of his healing Achilles. If he passes, he will begin a rehab assignment with Single-A Lakewood on Thursday.

It’ll be a lengthy rehab assignment, manager Charlie Manuel said:

I talked to him yesterday. He’s been doing real good. He’s looking forward to when he can come back. And more than likely I’d say, probably, from the looks of things it will be right – after the All-Star break. … He’s feeling real good. He told me that when he runs, he’s got a little limp.

Fortunately, Howard does less running than most.

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.