Ascanio joining Pirates; Crotta to DL

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Jose Ascanio’s long road back from right shoulder surgery is now complete, and the right-hander is set to the join the Pirates’ bullpen on Wednesday. A spot for Ascanio was cleared on the 25-man roster as the Pirates put reliever Mike Crotta on the disabled list with right posterior elbow inflammation.

Ascanio last pitched in the Majors in August 2009, just a few weeks after he was sent to the Pirates in a five-player deal with the Cubs. Kevin Hart and Josh Harrison were also acquired by Pittsburgh in that deal, which sent Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow to Chicago.

Ascanio made two relief appearances with Pittsburgh in’09 and then spent all of 2010 rehabbing from the arthroscopic surgery. He was slowed by some right elbow tightness, as well, in Spring Training and began the season on the disabled list.

After three rehab appearances with Class A Bradenton, Ascanio appeared in seven Triple-A games. Though the Pirates wanted to get him stretched out, Ascanio was able to throw two innings only once. He needed 31 pitches to get through one inning in his most recent outing.

In all, Ascanio pitched 7 1/3 innings with Indianapolis.

The Pirates hadn’t previously mentioned about an elbow injury with Crotta, so it’s unclear when the elbow discomfort may have begun. It could, however, be an explanation for the right-hander’s recent struggles.

The euphoria of making the Major League roster for the first time wore off quickly for Crotta. His first six appearances were strong, but in his last nine, Crotta allowed 10 earned runs on 16 hits in just six innings. Opponents batted.485 against him during that span. 

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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