Tigers players are unfazed by recent rumors surrounding manager Brad Ausmus, MLive.com’s Chris Iott writes. Recent reports have indicated that the Tigers plan to fire Ausmus once the season is over, although new GM Al Avila has said the team hasn’t yet made up its mind. Second baseman Ian Kinsler, however, was completely unaware of the rumors and had to have them explained to him before he could comment. “It’s not significant right now,” said Kinsler. “When a move’s made, whether he stays as manager or we find a new manager, then I think it will be significant. … But right now it’s really nothing.” Here’s more from the Central divisions.
- Cardinals catcher Cody Stanley has been suspended 80 games for use of a performance-enhancing substance, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch tweets. The Cardinals promoted Stanley when rosters expanded so he could serve as their third catcher, behind Yadier Molina and Tony Cruz. They added another catcher, Ed Easley, yesterday. Stanley, the Cards’ fourth-round pick in 2010, hit .241/.304/.359 this season for Triple-A Memphis. He also received a 50-game suspension as a minor leaguer in 2012.
- The Indians could try to acquire a late-inning reliever this offseason, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer writes. Cleveland’s bullpen has fared well overall — its 3.18 ERA ranks seventh in the Majors, and Indians relievers also boast strong peripherals, with 8.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 this season. But with Marc Rzepczynski gone via a trade to the Padres, the Indians are a bit thin on lefty relief, and although they’ve gotten good performances from pitchers like Zach McAllister and Jeff Manship, they could grab another pitcher to help Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw in the late innings.
- The Pirates lost Russell Martin last winter, but after acquiring Francisco Cervelli in an offseason trade with the Yankees, they’ve maintained a very high level of production at the catcher position, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. Pirates catchers (almost entirely Cervelli and Chris Stewart) have hit a remarkable .302/.370/.396 this season, and Pirates catchers rank first in the Majors in batting average and on-base percentage. Also, Cervelli ranks as the top pitch-framer in the game, and Stewart is above average there as well. The Bucs are also paying the duo a total of about $2.2MM this season.