Ausmus a Young 40
One day after manager Joe Torre said he wouldn’t run 40-year-old catcher Brad Ausmus “into the ground” in the absence of the injured Russell Martin, Ausmus said he needs no special attention.
“I’m in just as good a shape now as I was when I caught every day,” Ausmus said. “I’m not worried about how much playing time I can handle. I know my bat has slowed down and my arm is not as quick as it once was, but physically I don’t have a lot of aches and pains.
“If Joe asks me to play every day, I can play every day. If he asks me to play no days, I’ll play no days. Neither concerns me or anything in between. The important thing is winning games and it’s Joe’s call. I’ll never tell a manager I need time off.”
Torre hasn’t ruled out Ausmus emerging as the primary catcher while Martin expected to miss Opening Day because of a pulled groin muscle. A.J. Ellis will share time with Ausmus this Spring.
“We had a little discussion and I told Brad my plan is to get him enough work and by the time Spring Training is over, we’ll figure out the breakdown,” Torre said. — Ken Gurnick