The Mets name Jon Niese the Opening Day starter

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Not bad for a guy who was supposed to need heart surgery this offseason:

 

Niese is coming off a year in which he went 13-9 with a 3.40 ERA in 190 innings.

That reference to Santana, of course, is Johan, who still has no timetable for throwing off a mound and is still building up arm strength.

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.