The Pirates are facing a potentially significant roster crunch this off-season, with numerous prospects becoming eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Adding to the pressure are one or two players who probably wouldn't have been in line for consideration a short while ago, but who are making late pushes. Late season performances could have a lot of impact on the Pirates' thinking.
Jose Ascanio, RHP (AAA): The Pirates started getting Ascanio stretched out in the past week and he showed signs that he may be nearly all the way back from shoulder surgery. He threw three scoreless innings on Wednesday and six on Sunday. In the nine innings he allowed just four hits and a walk, and fanned ten. In August so far he's fanned 13 in 12 innings and allowed no runs. The Pirates may ne...
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