Cubs Make Roster Move

Posted May 29, 2008

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today recalled left-handed pitcher Neal Cotts from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-handed pitcher Jose Ascanio to Triple-A.

Cotts will wear uniform No. 48 and will be available in the bullpen for tonight’s game against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field.

The 28-year-old Cotts is 2-0 with three saves and a 2.00 ERA (6 ER/27.0 IP) in 19 relief appearances for Iowa this season. He has struck out 33 batters in 27.0 innings, an average of 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings, and is limiting opponents to a .232 batting average, including a .206 average by left-handed hitters. He has not allowed an earned run in 11 of his last 12 outings, walking only five batters while fanning 19 in 15.0 innings in that span.

Cotts is 10-8 with one save and a 4.55 ERA (106 ER/209.2 IP) in 215 major league appearances, all but five in relief. The Lebanon, Ill., native has spent all or part of the last five seasons with the White Sox (2003-06) and Cubs (2007). He was a member of the Cubs’ 2007 Opening Day roster and went 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA (9 ER/16.2 IP) in 16 relief appearances before being optioned to Iowa on May 20, where he spent the rest of the season.

Acquired from the White Sox for pitchers David Aardsma and Carlos Vasquez on November 16, 2006, Cotts enjoyed his finest major league campaign in 2005, when he went 4-0 with a 1.94 ERA (13 ER/60.1 IP) in 69 relief appearances for the World Champion White Sox. The southpaw turned in a career-high 70 appearances a year later before his trade to the Cubs.

Ascanio posted no record and a 1.80 ERA (1 ER/5.0 IP) in four relief appearances with the Cubs. The 23-year-old is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA (5 ER/21.2 IP) in 17 relief appearances for Iowa this season.

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