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Ausmus draws positives from 'trying' season

@ladsonbill24
September 17, 2019

NEW YORK -- Manager Brad Ausmus is nearing the end of his first season with the Angels, one that he called “trying” on Tuesday. It has been a difficult season emotionally because of the sudden passing of left-hander Tyler Skaggs. Ausmus has also had to deal with a laundry list

NEW YORK -- Manager Brad Ausmus is nearing the end of his first season with the Angels, one that he called “trying” on Tuesday.

It has been a difficult season emotionally because of the sudden passing of left-hander Tyler Skaggs. Ausmus has also had to deal with a laundry list of injuries, including to his former AL MVP Mike Trout, Justin Upton, infielder Zack Cozart and right-hander Shohei Ohtani, all of whom are out for the season. There is no telling when infielder Tommy La Stella (broken right tibia) and catcher Max Stassi (oblique issue) will return to action.

Trout to have foot surgery

The results on the field haven’t pleased Ausmus either, with his club entering Tuesday’s action at 68-82 and in fourth place in the American League West.

“The number of injuries, the loss of Tyler. I can’t remember a season that compares to it,” Ausmus said.

As far as 2020 is concerned, Ausmus would like to see improvement from his staff, which is 24th in the league in ERA (5.08).

“We lost our pitching staff a good portion of the time,” Ausmus said. “I think that is A-1 on the list.”

Even with all the adversity, Ausmus did see positives from the 2019 Angels.

“I think our baserunning was very strong. I don’t think we made a lot of extra outs, which gave our hitters more opportunities to drive in runs,” he said.

Injury report
La Stella, who is on the injured list because of a broken right tibia, has been doing agility drills and some running, but there is no timetable for return right now. La Stella said he would like to get back on the field before the season comes to an end in two weeks.

Outfielder Taylor Ward was sick during the last day of the Angels’ homestand and didn’t fly with the team to New York after the game on Sunday. But he arrived in the Big Apple on Monday and was available to come off the bench against the Yankees on Tuesday.

“[Ward] is trying to keep some food down and put some weight back on,” Ausmus said.

With Trout out for the rest of the season, Ward is expected to see some playing time in the outfield.

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.