Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What to do with Jose Ascanio

Jose Ascanio made his last rehab start with the AAA Indianapolis Indians last night, the Pirates now need to decide whether to keep him, which means adding him to the 25 man roster, or designate him for assignment and hope no one claims him.

Jose Ascanio came over the in the trade that sent John Grabow and Tom Gorezelanny to the Chicago Cubs. Ascanio almost immediately was hurt and has hardly pitched at all since the trade went down.

Ascanio was pretty bad in his month long rehab stint with an ERA of 9.00 in ten games between A+ and AAA. He has been wild, and batters have been making hard contact against him. He is also said to be throwing around 97 MPH and struck out eleven batters in eleven innings.

For Ascanio to come back someone else would have to go down. Since Hurdle likes having two lefties in the pen, and since he hasn't been impressive at all as of late one would have to assume that Mike Crotta is the odd man out.

Crotta impressed and surprisingly won a spot with the club out of Spring Training. He has been used a good bit, seeing action fourteen times but pitching just 10.0 innings. He didn't allow an earned run in his first four games, allowing zero hits the first three, but since then he has allowed hits in eleven straight games. He was once again bad last night, failing to log a full inning after giving up two more hits, and nearly another lead against the Dodgers.

He has also been garbage with runners on base. In 20 AB with runners on opponents are hitting .400/.500/.650 with eleven RBI. If guys are on against Crotta he has shown that there is a good chance they score. Not only are his numbers bad, he is killing the Pirates starter's numbers. He has inherited twelve runners, seven of them have scored.

Bringing up Ascanio would allow him about a month to get situated, as Evan Meek and Ross Ohlendorf have not started their rehab assignments, and once Meek comes back Daniel Moskos will probably go down, as he is used very little anyway.

I think Crotta could use the time to get things straightened out in AAA. He obviously made an impression, or else he wouldn't have made the team, or stuck this long. Ascanio will almost certainly be claimed if the Pirates put him out there, and he has the stuff to be an eighth inning, or closer type if Hanrahan or Meek get moved.

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