Mariners receive good news on Hisashi Iwakuma

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The Mariners got some good news on right-hander hisashi Iwakuma. Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports that the right-hander was fully cleared. Iwakuma will be able to resume his throwing program as he makes his way back from a strained middle finger. Mid-to-late April remains the target for his return.

Iwakuma, 32, finished third in AL Cy Young balloting last season, finishing with a 2.16 ERA and a 4.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 219 2/3 innings. While prognosticators don’t expect him to repeat the 2.16 ERA, he is still projected to be a solid contributor behind Felix Hernandez when he returns.

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.