Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Yankees Name Brad Ausmus Bench Coach


Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees named Brad Ausmus as their new Bench Coach on Tuesday afternoon. He will be Manager Aaron Boone's new right-hand man, taking over for Carlos Mendoza, who became manager of the Mets after spending the past four years in the position in The Bronx.

Ausmus is most known for his playing 18-year playing career as a catcher, most of it spent with the Houston Astros. After he retired in 2010, he has spent 11 seasons as a manager, coach, or front office executive. His first job was as a special assistant with the San Diego Padres, the team he debuted with as a player in 1993, beginning in 2011 and he spent three seasons there.

In 2014, he became the manager of the Detroit Tigers, another team he played for, and he led them to a 90-72 record and the American League Central championship. He spent four years with the Tigers (2014-17), and had an overall record of 314-332. He is one of 11 managers in Tigers history to win at least 300 games.

Ausmus then joined the Angels organization in 2018 as a special assistant to General Manager Billy Eppler before he became the team's manager upon the retirement of longtime skipper Mike Scioscia. The 2019 season would be his only season in Anaheim, as he led them a 72-90 record, and was replaced by Joe Maddon. His most recent job was as the Oakland Athletics bench coach in 2022.

Known primarily as a defensive catcher, Ausmus won three Gold Glove Awards (2001-02, '06) and ranks fourth in Major League history in putouts by a catcher (12,839) and eighth in games played as a catcher (1,938). He spent 10 years of his career with the Houston Astros (1997-98 & 2001-08), and is the franchise leader among catchers in games played (1,243), hits (967), runs scored (410), runs batted in (385), walks (393), doubles (162), and triples (19). His only All-Star appearance came in 1999 when he was a Tiger, and he set career single-season highs in home runs with nine, RBI (54), on-base percentage (.365), and slugging percentage (.415).

This is a homecoming of sorts for Ausmus, a New Haven, Connecticut, native. He was selected by the Yankees in the 48th round of the 1987 First-Year Player Draft. He chose to attend Dartmouth College, but did not play baseball there, and entered the Yankees' minor-league system while working towards his degree, which he received in 1991.

Ausmus played five seasons in the Yankees farm system (1988-92), making it as high as Triple-A Columbus in 1992 before being chosen by the Colorado Rockies in the Expansion Draft ahead of their inaugural season in 1993.

After Ausmus played the first half of the 1993 season in their Triple-A affiliate at Colorado Springs, he was traded to the San Diego Padres on July 26 and made his Major League debut two days later, starting as catcher and going 1-for-3 with a walk against the Chicago Cubs.

Ausmus played in San Diego until 1996, when he was traded to the Detroit Tigers, where he finished out that season. He then spent the 1997 and '98 seasons with Houston before returning to Detroit for the 1999 and 2000 campaigns before he went back to Houston, where he played for eight years (2001-08) before finishing his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2009-10).

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