The Astros interviewed Brad Ausmus for their managing gig


Ken Rosenthal reports that the Astros have interviewed former catcher Brad Ausmus for their managerial vacancy. This is an intriguing choice. Partially because he’s a former Astro, but mostly because he’d probably be a great selection.

Back when he was a player, Ausmus had a reputation for being one of the most prepared guys in the game. Even when his playing time tailed off at the end of his career, he kept detailed charts and scouting reports on opposing pitchers and hitters. He worked closely with his pitchers and his other teammates. There was a sense that he was already something of a co-manager/backup catcher.

He’s an extremely smart guy who, I bet, would gel really well with what seems to be a smart front office.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.