Brad Ausmus, Manager, Detroit Tigers
Date of Birth: 4/14/1969
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut
College: Dartmouth College
Brad Ausmus was hired to replace Jim Leyland as manager of the Detroit Tigers on November 3, 2013. Although Ausmus had some managerial experience, the 2014 season was his first time managing in the major leagues. Prior to this appointment, Ausmus managed for one season in the Israeli baseball league and in 2013 he managed the Israeli team in the World Baseball Classic. The Tigers, apparently, had great faith in Ausmus' managerial abilities since they gave him a three-year contract with a club option for 2017. At 44 years of age, Ausmus was one of the youngest managers in major league baseball in 2014 and 2015.
Ausmus, who was primarily a catcher in the major leagues for 18 years, is not far removed from his retirement as a player in 2010. He was first drafted in 1987 by the New York Yankees but he chose instead to go to Dartmouth. During the off time from his college studies, Ausmus played in the minor leagues. He continued a minor league career with the Yankees from 1988 through 1992.
In the 1992 expansion draft, the Colorado Rockies selected Ausmus and sent him to their minor league teams for that season. The following July, they traded him to the San Diego Padres. After a little over three years with the Padres, Ausmus was traded to the Detroit Tigers in June, 1996. From 1996 through 2001, Ausmus bounced back and forth between the Tigers and the Houston Astros, playing with the Tigers in 1996, 1999, and 2000, and playing with the Astros in 1997, 1998, and 2001. From 2001 through 2008, Ausmus was a regular player with the Astros and those proved to be his best seasons. During that time with the Astros, Ausmus won three Gold Gloves (2001, 2002, 2006).
Ausmus spent the last two seasons of his career as a backup catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He retired as a player in October, 2010.
Batting statistics for Ausmus in 18 seasons as a major league player include:
- 1,971 games played
- 1,579 hits
- 270 doubles
- 607 RBIs
- .251 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Ausmus as a major league catcher include:
- 1,938 games played
- 79 errors
- 956 assists
- 12,839 putouts
- .994 fielding percentage
In his first year as a major league manager, Ausmus led the Tigers to a 90-72 record and a first place finish in the American League Central division. They lost, however, to the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Division series with a 3-0 record. In 2015, they fared much worse, ending in fifth place in the division with a 74-87 record.
Ausmus led the Tigers to a second place finish in the AL Central division in 2016. The team had 86 wins to 75 losses.