Ascanio makes final rehab appearance

Ascanio makes final rehab appearance

PITTSBURGH -- Jose Ascanio made his final rehab appearance with Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday night. He last pitched in the Majors in August 2009, but his right shoulder issues appear to finally be behind him.

Pitchers are allowed to remain on a rehab assignment with Minor League clubs for up to 30 days, and Ascanio's time will officially end on Tuesday. That means the Pirates must decide this week where they want to assign the 26-year-old right-hander.

Because Ascanio is out of options, the Pirates would not be able to assign him to Triple-A until he clears waivers. The other option is to have Ascanio join the Pirates' bullpen, which appears to be the likeliest move.

Ascanio's outing on Monday was supposed to last two innings. However, Ascanio did not come out for the second after needing 31 pitches to finish the first. The right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits and one walk. He struck out two.

After making his three appearances with Class A Bradenton, Ascanio logged 9 1/3 innings with Indianapolis. He allowed seven earned runs, struck out five and walked four.

"Velocity-wise, he has been up to 96 [mph], maybe 97," general manager Neal Huntington said. "He's shown a good slider. He's been somewhat inconsistent. We have challenged him to get two-inning outings, because that's probably what his role would be up here."

Some other Minor League notes:

• Jameson Taillon allowed one run in a five-inning start for low Class A West Virginia on Sunday. The start was the longest of Taillon's three professional outings so far. Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, allowed three hits and struck out five. He did not walk a batter.

• Right-hander Brad Lincoln had a second straight strong start for Indianapolis. Lincoln picked up the win on Sunday, scattering six hits and two walks in six innings. Lincoln allowed one run and struck out seven.

• In that Indianapolis game, outfielder Alex Presley added three hits to his International League-leading total of 43. Presley also drove in one and scored twice in the win.