Top Jays prospect Travis d’Arnaud out 6-8 weeks

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Blue Jays catcher of the future Travis d’Arnaud is going to miss the next 6-8 weeks with a torn PCL in his knee, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports.

D’Arnaud, who was slated to play for the U.S. team in next month’s Futures Game, was injured sliding into second base playing for Triple-A Las Vegas last night.

The 23-year-old d’Arnaud is hitting .333/.380/.595 with 16 homers and 52 RBI in 279 at-bats this season. He gets to play in a great hitter’s park in Vegas, but even in road games, he has a .343/.381/.577 line. Considered a better defender than J.P. Arencibia, he figured to be a September callup this year and a candidate to take over as the Jays’ primary catcher next year. That still might happen, but the possible two-month absence makes it less likely.

As for d’Arnaud’s replacement in the Futures Game, Boston’s Ryan Lavarnway would seem to be the obvious choice, except for the fact that the Red Sox already have two representatives. None of the teams with one one rep have any exceptional (and U.S. born) catching prospects.

Angels name Brad Ausmus new manager

Brad Ausmus
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Former MLB player and manager Brad Ausmus will manage the Angels in 2019, the team announced Sunday. His contract will extend through the 2021 season, though it’s not clear whether a club option exists for 2022. A formal press conference will be held on Monday at 1:00 PM PDT to introduce the new skipper.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler gave a statement following Ausmus’ hiring:

Ausmus, 49, was also considered for a managerial role with the Reds prior to their hiring of David Bell on Sunday. He’ll replace longtime manager Mike Scioscia, who finished his 19th and final campaign with the club on the last day of the 2018 season.

A former catcher and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, Ausmus capped his 18-year MLB playing career in 2010. He managed the Tigers from 2014 to 2017, during which he guided the club to a 314-332 record and a postseason berth in 2014. After the Tigers declined to offer the skipper an extension in 2018, he was hired as a special assistant to the Angels’ general manager, and remained in that role for the duration of the regular season.