Doug Henry doesn't believe Brad Ausmus' lack of managerial experience should raise any red flags.
"I loved throwing to him," the longtime reliever and current Royals bullpen coach said Friday as Ausmus interviewed for the Cubs' opening. "I threw to Mike Matheny in the minors (in the Brewers' organization), and look what he has done with the Cardinals without (managing) experience.
"Brad is very intelligent. He's cool-headed and pays attention to everything. If you're looking to hire a guy who never managed before and wonder how he can handle it, I can see it working with Matheny and Brad because both are calm and intelligent."
The only managerial experience for Ausmus, 44, occurred in fall 2012 when he managed Team Israel, which failed to qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Nevertheless, former teammates hold him in high regard for his smarts and instincts during a long major league career.
Jed Hoyer, now the Cubs' general manager, hired Ausmus as a special assistant with the Padres before the 2011 season shortly after he had retired as a player. Ausmus interviewed Monday for the Tigers' opening.
Ausmus played 18 seasons and won three Gold Glove awards for his exceptional defense. He attended Dartmouth College when he wasn't playing in the Yankees' system and earned a degree in 1991.
"He was one of the leaders in Houston," said Henry, who played with Ausmus with the Astros from 1998 to 2000. "He wasn't afraid to speak up, but he got along with everybody. He knows the game and understands the learning curve.
"If he gets the job, I'm sure he'll surround himself with a good staff. He knows what he's doing."
The Cubs also are looking for a first base coach with the departure of Dave McKay to the Diamondbacks. McKay, whom the Diamondbacks pursued two seasons ago, will be closer to his home in Scottsdale, Ariz.
McKay also supervised outfielders and baserunners.
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