Ausmus to stay as Tigers manager for 2016

Brad Ausmus is staying as Tigers manager. General manager Al Avila announced Saturday that Ausmus and his entire coaching staff will remain in charge for next season, ending speculation surrounding the second-year manager’s future.

“After almost two months of watching this team play, evaluating our staff and the manager, a lot of discussion with my staff — David Chadd, John Westhoff, Scott Bream, Jim Leyland, Al Kaline amongst others — I’ve decided that Brad Ausmus should be our manager going into 2016,” Avila said in a Saturday afternoon press briefing in the Tigers dugout at Comerica Park.

Ausmus, hired in November 2013 by then-president and GM Dave Dombrowski, will be entering the final season of his three-year contract. No talks have taken place on anything beyond that, but after a two-month evaluation by Avila, he has the front office’s backing to lead next season.

The decision came from Avila, he said, with support from owner Mike Ilitch, who named Avila as his GM in August.
“Mr. Ilitch left it up to me, and I made the decision,” Avila said. “I called him, I said, ‘Mr. Ilitch, I’m going to keep Brad Ausmus.’ He said, ‘God bless you, move forward.’”

He made the decision knowing what some of the fan reaction could be. But he made it thinking about the on-field product gearing up for next season.

“I know where the criticism is. My thing is I believe that Brad has the talent, the knowhow to lead and mentor the young players that are on this team,” Avila said. “They’ve shown great improvement. Guys like James McCann, Nick Castellanos, Anthony Gose, these guys have improved under Brad and his staff. We have a lot of young pitchers also that have improved. He also has the respect and the backing of the veteran players on this team. So that combination, to me, tells me that Brad is the right man to lead this team into next year.

McCann, in particular, has been a focus on Ausmus’ teaching as the season has gone on. Ausmus has had him take on responsibility with scouting reports for pitchers going into series and game plans going into each contest.
The Tigers saw their four-year reign atop the American League Central end this year at the hands of the Royals. Their next loss will clinch their first losing season since 2008 and officially eliminate them from Wild Card contention. It was a disappointing result for a team that had postseason expectations going into the year, even with the Royals’ resurgence.

The struggles cost Dombrowski his job a month and a half ago. The challenge Avila faced was evaluating the struggles in light of the team Ausmus had to work with. Among the factors Avila cited were injuries to Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Joe Nathan, Bruce Rondon and Anibal Sanchez, along with the decision to trade away David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Joakim Soria at the end of July — as well as the challenge of working with the youngsters that replaced them, such as Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, Tyler Collins, Steven Moya and Bruce Rondon.

“I think if you see all the injuries that we’ve had, from Day 1, we didn’t have a chance,” Avila said. “This has been a flawed team coming out of Spring Training because of all the injuries.”

Several veteran players said the same in defense of Ausmus’ work over the past six weeks, including Cabrera, Castellanos, Alex Avila and Ian Kinsler.

That said, the way the Tigers have played down the stretch — their postseason chances essentially over — played a factor, Avila said. Despite an injury-riddled pitching staff, Detroit entered Saturday with a 12-11 record in September and a chance for its first winning month since April. Moreover, the Tigers are 8-5 since reports of Ausmus’ impending dismissal came out two weeks ago.

“This team as you’ve noticed has not given up. They’ve played hard. They’re continuing to try to win every game they can. They’ve never given up. … I know we’ve made some mistakes on the field, but some of those mistakes come when you have young players. Every team has that. The thing is, what do you do about that? I know from the inside, day in and day out, how those things are addressed. I know that we work on these things. I know we work on baserunning; I know that we work on every aspect of the game. I know how this organization, how these guys prepare, before every game.

“We have a system of preparing for every game. And it’s a good system. And it gets followed through. I have every confidence that it will continue and this team will improve. If I didn’t believe that, obviously, I wouldn’t be making this decision. This decision was made based on what I think is best for this organization moving forward.”

Ausmus, for his part, said the reports didn’t impact his work.

“Initially, when the story breaks, it’s a little tough,” he said, “but I’ll be honest with you: It’s been business as usual. We’re prepared exactly the same way. I can’t control what’s written. After talking with Al about it, he said it didn’t come from them. I knew that baseball operations people, of course Al and Mr. Ilitch, would make the decision. And I just continue to do my job. I said I would do my job until they ask me to leave or until my contract expired, and that’s what we’ll continue to do. But we do expect things to be better in 2016.”

The expectation for 2016, Avila said, remains to contend for a title next season. The expectation going into next season is to give Ausmus a better chance at that.

“Once the season’s over, going into October, we’ll have our major league staff come in, we’ll have our advisors in there, too, and we’ll go over every single organization,” Avila said. “We’ll figure out where some possible trades could be made, we’ll rank all the free-agent guys we may be interested in out there, and we’ll try to acquire some of the players that we need additionally to make this team a winning team next year.

“Thank goodness, though, we feel like we have a good core of players here that are a mix of some veterans with some nice young players that are up and coming. That core is very important, because you can’t create a whole, brand new team. We have the basics, the core players here to start that process of just adding a few more to have a winning team.”

Ausmus, they believe, is the guy to lead them.

“You can see the improvement of the young players, and you can see the dedication and the pride in the veteran players,” Avila said. “To me, I’m very proud of how they have faced adversity, how they have come up and continued to do their best, and play their best. And they, in their hearts, all want to come back next year and try to win that championship.”

34 Comments

Beck : Also, Avila acknowledged.”From Day 1, we didn’t have a chance. This has been a flawed team with all the injuries ”
Man Lost Games MLB ;”Rangers, Mets, Dodgers in playoff spots while also being amongst most injured in MLB”
http://t.co/5GJjFntPe8

“stupid s*… ? That is how they talk about the costumers ?

I thought he was talking about the Smilovitz report that Brad was out. Speaking of, what DOES Bernie have to say?

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I think he knew he was coming back when he gave this interview:
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/13739947/brad-ausmus-detroit-tigers-takes-blame-team-struggle

Fenech:
Al Avila told Brad Ausmus he would return yesterday afternoon over the phone, he said. “I’m happy to be back, for sure,” Ausmus said.

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Barry Bonds: 73 HR just 137 RBI. To hit a 3 run HR there must be 2 runners on base before.
For most purposes a walk, a HBP is like a single

Keeping Ausmus is not an exciting prospect to me. At least the mystery has been removed.
Ausmus still is the same guy that has persistently mis-managed his bullpen. Therre have been injuries. And there will be injuries next year–maybe with the three more prominent veterans again. The Cardinals sure didn’t use that for an excuse this year and they had serious injuries to deal with. Say what you will more of the same is not necessarily a a positive thing to look forward to. And nothing can convince me otherwise of this: Ausmus was given a good team and they played poor baseball this year.
Trumbo vs Moya?
Moya is younger, faster, better defender, better arm AND a LHB.
Trumbo gives us another lumbering RHB that clutters up the basepaths IF he is able to get on.

The team is a mess for several reasons . Sure hope a year from now the team has changed for the better . Looks grim for 2016 right now .

OK Al now all you have to do is find a closer, 2 Starting Pitchers and a LHB LFer

Bad base-running , twice by Castellanos. Got lucky once

Needs 5 more PA

I’m not crazy about it. Guess it’s just the easiest way to go right now.

Simon is done and Brad just noticed.

Speaking of Brad, there is a luckier guy in all this. Jeff Jones.

The smartest runner in baseball?sure , sure

As I have advocated before, I think Moya should get a shot because he has tools and huge potential to be a run producer. OBP does not do it for me. More importantly, I think the money saved with Moya can be used to put the more important pitching issue into better condition. And that issue cannot be understated If a FA like Cespedes, Heyward or Upton would be affordable, great! But, that’s unlikely unless Mr. I goes for it. So, Trumbo is an affordable option. He has a RFer arm and can also play the corner infield spots, is only 29, might be had at about $7M and has proven at least 3x he can pound about 30 HRs and knock in 100 in a tuff park. Plus, he’s coming back from injury and still jacked 21 this year. That would be second best on the Tigers this season. And I don’t care what side of the plate our guys hit from as long as they do damage. Cabrera seems to play every day, regardless.

Beck:”The team that’s expanding budget in analytics, scouting and player development?”
“Analytics” equal low BB% and 33,2 % K out . OBP in

BTW: Avila thinks Moya will be a superstar.

I get analytics. I also know Dipoto of the Angels is gone as a result of them and Defensive Coordinator Wallach of the Dodgers indulges Fielding % instead of UZR or DRS on a metrics-based team. And the A’s are pretty much sucking now. It just all comes down to preferences and what works. Baseball is not a black and white deal that can be actualized into success
with a formula. It is a game played by human beings subject to random and unsynchronized events. l.. .

The human factor has the Tigers in the last place

Hopefully the money saved on another Manager gets us one more relief pitcher in 2016.
Memory probably bad but we seem to often outhit and still lose games. Can only remember one game where we hit less and won. Kyle just did his level best to fix that stat for this game.

Again, this is my opinion, When Simon is pitching, and the Tigers are down by a few or more runs…and they happen to come back and tie the freaking game….Take the ball away from him, and let someone else pitch. He always seem to give up runs once the Tigers tie up the game…He is not a pitcher that I care to watch…he is
boring and is not gutsy…I guess that sentence is what best describes him.(My opinion.)

Speaking of Brad, there is a luckier guy in all this. Jeff Jones.
If Avila thinks Moya is going to be a superstart he jmight want to think about telling his manager (who owes him big time) to give him a few ABs

Good point about the saving the money on Brad. If they can him then they are on the hook, not just for him but the whole coaching staff.
This may be phase 1 of Avila’s austerity program.
I see your point Darline but to go into another season with Avila and Victor as your LHB power hitters doesn’t do anything for me. It also does not balance out the lineup.
It also makes life for opposing managers in later innings a little easier.

I just do not understand why Simon was left out there for the 7th inning. He has consistently allowed runs to score in that inning. This was another bad move by Ausmus on the very day it was announced he would return for 2016. I am quickly losing faith in the whole mess.

We all knew he needed to be pulled out of the game except for you know who.
.
I find it slightly ironic that on the day the Tigers are officially eliminated from the playoffs, they announce the manager will be brought back for another year. What a sense of timing, eh?

Sure does not pass the smell test , How very strange……

A bit of trivia as the season winds down.
The Tigs lead MLB in total hits with 1465 hits. Still more than the 1447 mashed from their pitchers for 4th highest in MLB.
The Tigs had a 5 game losing streak (Games 121-125) where they were never outhit in each game (50-44 hits).
A fine line between success and failure in baseball and no overcoming the bounce of the ball and a few (or more) crappy pitchers.

We need to see what we don’t have as much as we do have.
i.e. Lobstein, Ferrell, Ryan, Krol, Farmer, Verhagen, Moya, Machado, Valdez.
Better to find out now who CAN’T be counted on so decisions can be made BEFORE ST during the trading period.
I personally see no future for Lobstein, Ryan or Ferrell or Valdez. Certainly Wolf is not in consideration so let’s play the guys we need to evaluate.

I have to laugh at the comments coming out saying how much the players like him based on interviews from the players. What else can they say, really? If they did say something nasty, they sure wouldn’t be on the team next year. In school, everyone loved the teachers that let them get away with murder and didn’t hold any one accountable. Just do what you want and pass to the next grade. I don’t believe a word the players say in these PR press articles.

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