Veteran catcher Brad Ausmus told Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles on Saturday that he intends to retire at the end of the 2010 season.
“This year is it,” Ausmus said.
The 41-year-old inked a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Dodgers in the offseason and was also given a $1 million mutual option for 2011. That option, of course, will not be exercised.
Ausmus suffered a back injury during the regular season’s opening week and played his first game since April 8 on Saturday night. He’s 2-for-8 on the year with a double and an RBI. Known mostly for his defense, the 17-year veteran collected three Gold Gloves and was named to the 1999 All-Star Game. He holds a .252/.325/.344 career batting line with 80 home runs and 1,567 total hits.
The Phillies announced that they’ve optioned right-hander Hector Neris to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Nerris, who saved 26 games as the Phillies closer in 2017 and ten games in that role this year, has struggled this year, posting a 6.00 ERA in 30 appearances. While his strikeout and walk rates aren’t too far off what he was doing last year his hit rate has spiked and he’s currently allowing 10.3 safeties per nine. The wheels have come off of late, as he has allowed nine runs on 15 hits — five of them homers — over his last eight innings of work. Yesterday he allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a game the Phillies had led by five.
It was clear that Gabe Kapler had lost faith in Neris as a result, using him almost exclusively in low-leverage situations. That changed on Saturday, as Kapler used him in a save situation and said after the game that they were easing him back into his role. That plan obviously changed after yesterday’s meltdown.
Seranthony Dominguez had been getting the call in save situations. He’ll get them more now.