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Pirates Recall Jose Ascanio, Place Mike Crotta On DL

The Pirates have recalled reliever Jose Ascanio from Indianapolis and placed reliever Mike Crotta on the disabled list with elbow trouble. Ascanio was part of the John Grabow / Tom Gorzelanny trade with the Cubs a couple years ago, but he almost immediately suffered a major arm injury. Now he's back and his rehab period in the minors has expired. He's out of options, so the Pirates need to place him on their 25-man roster or risk losing him.

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Crotta's performances in the past couple of weeks have been brutally bad, and Dejan Kovacevic tweets that he started feeling elbow pain around two weeks ago. It's unclear whether he told the team or not. Kovacevic notes that Crotta just had an MRI, so we should know more about his status soon. Elbow injuries are often bad news for pitchers, however.

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Ascanio will probably take a less active role in the bullpen than the one Crotta had. Ascanio's performances in the minors this season were unimpressive, and the Pirates will probably attempt to use him primarily in low-pressure situations until he proves he's ready for higher-leverage work.

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UPDATE: Dejan Kovacevic writes that the Pirates didn't know about Crotta's injury.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.