Chase Utley cleared to begin rehab assignment

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Out since May 20 with a strained oblique, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Double-A.

Assuming he doesn’t have a setback Utley’s rehab stint is expected to be just a few games, potentially setting him up to come off the disabled list this weekend.

Philadelphia is 14-13 in Utley’s absence, but Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com points out that his replacements at second base have hit a combined .190 with a .461 OPS. Utley hit .272 with an .814 OPS in 44 games before the injury.

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.