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José Ascanio
Pittsburgh Pirates — No. 45
Relief pitcher
Born: May 2, 1985 (1985-05-02) (age 24)
Maracay, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
July 13, 2007 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win-Loss     1-3
Earned run average     4.99
Strikeouts     36

José Eleazar Ascanio (born May 2, 1985, in Maracay, Venezuela) is a right-handed relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball.

Baseball career

Ascanio was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2001 by Atlanta. He began his professional career with the GCL Braves, where he went 4-1 with a 1.37 ERA and 17 strikeouts at age 18. The next year, with the Rome Braves, he went 3-3, with a 3.84 ERA and 64 strikeouts, as well as a career-high 9 saves, in 34 games.

In 2005, he played in 5 games for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, recording 3 wins, 1 loss, a 6.10 ERA, and a career-low 12 K, before being sidelined with a fractured back injury.

On July 13, 2007, Ascanio was called up by the Braves after Wilfredo Ledezma had trouble getting back to the U.S. after going home to Venezuela during the All-Star break. Ascanio made his debut the same day, pitching the ninth inning of a 9-1 win. Ascanio allowed one run on three hits in his first Major League appearance, striking out two in the process. He was sent down on July 31 and called up again on August 24. He earned his first Major League win on September 14 pitching the last two innings of a 13-inning game. He finished the season 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA.

On December 4, 2007, Ascanio was traded to the Chicago Cubs for reliever Will Ohman and infielder Omar Infante.

On May 10, 2009, Ascanio was called up by the Cubs from Triple-A Iowa after possessing a 1.01 ERA in 26 2/3 innings pitched as a starter. He is expected to start in the back of the bullpen.

On July 30, 2009, Ascanio was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates with Kevin Hart and Josh Harrison for John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny.

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