Pirates Call Up Tony Watson, Designate Jose Ascanio For Assignment

The Pirates made a change in their bullpen Monday afternoon, promoting lefty reliever Tony Watson and designating Jose Ascanio for assignment. Bucs manager Clint Hurdle has said that he likes having two lefties in the bullpen, and the Pirates previously only had one (Danny Moskos). Watson had performed well at Class AAA Indianapolis and was already on the 40-man roster, so promoting him to the big leagues for the first time was probably an easy call. 

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Ascanio has struggled all year in both the majors and the minors. The Pirates promoted him to the big leagues earlier this season despite a ton of injury problems and a lack of recent minor-league success because they risked losing him if they didn't. He still has a good arm, but with his recent history of poor performances, it might be tricky for another team to claim him, because it would have to keep Ascanio on its active roster if it did. Ascanio probably should be in the minors right now, so hopefully for both him and the Pirates, he'll get through waivers and wind up at Indianapolis. The Pirates risk losing him here, but they must figure that's a risk worth taking.

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