The Pittsburgh Pirates have recalled left handed pitcher Tony Watson, adding a second left hander to the bullpen. To make room, the Pirates designated right hander Jose Ascanio for assignment.
Watson was added to the 40-man roster over the off-season, after putting up a 2.67 ERA in 111.1 innings in Altoona last year, with a 105:24 K/BB ratio. So far this year he has been pitching in relief for Indianapolis, with a 2.45 ERA in 29.1 innings over 22 appearances, along with a 29:11 K/BB ratio. Watson has a .156 BAA versus left handers this year, but has also been strong against right handers, with a .189 BAA.
Ascanio was originally acquired from the Chicago Cubs along with Kevin Hart and Josh Harrison in exchange for Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow. He’s dealt with shoulder issues the last two years, starling almost immediately after the trade. He has great stuff, with a mid-to-upper 90s fastball, and a hard slider, although that hasn’t translated in to results, with a 7.11 ERA in 6.1 innings this year, along with a 5:2 K/BB ratio.
The Pirates have ten days to trade, waive, or release Ascanio. If he clears waivers, they can assign him to AAA. The 25-man roster and the 40-man roster have each been updated. There is now one open spot on the 40-man roster.