Pirates Notebook: Ascanio's status will be determined today

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A decision needs to be made today on oft-injured reliever Jose Ascanio, who is out of options and whose rehabilitation period ends as he battles back from shoulder surgery.

The club will have to add him to the 25-man roster or designate him for assignment and risk losing him to another club.

Ascanio, 26, was acquired along with pitcher Kevin Hart and infielder Josh Harrison from the Chicago Cubs in a July 2009 trade for pitchers Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow.

Ascanio pitched in just two games for the Pirates in 2009.

In a rehab appearance Monday in Class AAA Indianapolis, Ascanio pitched one inning, although the Pirates would have preferred two.

But Ascanio threw 31 pitches in the inning.

"We're still trying to figure out what we're going to do next," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's been some snapshots of some good things, but there hasn't been consistency. My experience, sometimes with these guys on major league rehab is that they want to get their work in, but they also don't want to get hurt."

Alvarez out of lineup

The in-the-lineup then out-of-the-lineup life of third baseman Pedro Alvarez continued Tuesday as Alvarez was not in the lineup, with Brandon Wood getting the start at third base.

Alvarez, who returned to the starting lineup Monday after missing four games with tightness in his right quadriceps, insisted he was healthy and was unsure of why he was not in the lineup.

"I don't know," Alvarez said. "You'll have to ask the skipper about that. Personally, I feel good."

With the left-handed Ted Lilly starting for the Dodgers, Hurdle felt the right-handed hitting Wood gave the Pirates an advantage.

Alvarez has been a healthy scratch on a handful of occasions this season and started the night with a .206 batting average and one home run.

Twitter trouble

Catching prospect Tony Sanchez could be the latest athlete in the midst of Twitter controversy. Sanchez, the Pirates' first-round pick in 2009 who plays for Class AA Altoona, tweeted this after a 3-2 loss Monday night.

"Sometimes the umpires just decide to blow a game. Never seen a winning teams crowd go silent as the game winning run crosses the plate."

The game in Harrisburg ended on a close play as a runner was called safe at second base in the midst of a double-play attempt and another runner crossed the plate.

Tuesday, Sanchez tweeted an apology: "Should have kept my feelings about last nights outcome to myself. I work to hard to have a great relationship with umpires to let one call jeopardize that relationship. I apologize and will not let it happen again."

Kyle Stark, the Pirates' director of player development, responded in an email when asked if Sanchez would be disciplined by the organization: "this situation -- like all situations regarding professionalism" will be handled internally and that the team would have no comment.

Buried treasure

• Hurdle admitted Tuesday after seeing the replay of the controversial play involving Jose Tabata's catch in the eighth inning of the Pirates' win Monday night against the Dodgers that it was a bad call. Only after seeing the replay did he realize the ball bounced into Tabata's glove.

• Reliever Evan Meek, on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, will throw a bullpen session today and plans to travel with the team to Milwaukee Friday. He will throw another bullpen session there, Then, most likely, he will be sent to one of the club's a minor league affiliates to begin a rehabilitation stint.


Colin Dunlap: cdunlap@post-gazette.com .


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