The Orioles today selected the contract of RHP Jairo Asencio. Asencio will take the bullpen spot of the recently optioned Josh Stinson. How long will he be with the Orioles? My guess is through the All Star break, after which it would appear either Zach Britton or Kevin Gausman will be recalled.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Asencio, RHP Jair Jurrjens has been designated for assignment. What that means for Jurrjens and the Orioles is still unclear, perhaps Jurrjens will still be interested in a minor league contract a la Freddy Garcia. Jurrjens appeared in two games for the Orioles this season, one terrible start and one good relief appearance. In AAA Norfolk, Jurrjens had a 4.18 ERA in 16 starts.
Asencio has a bit of major league experience, appearing in 39 games over three seasons for the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago Cubs. He turned 30 years old on May 30th of this year.
In 34 relief appearances this season for the Norfolk Tides, Asencio has pitched to a 2.15 ERA. He is striking out 9.8 batters per nine innings while walking just 1.7 per nine, and he has a WHIP of just 0.796. It remains to be seen if he can handle the majors nearly as well as he did the minors, but he's done all the right things to deserve a chance.
Asencio was part of some controversy in Atlanta when he used a fake name, Luis Valdez, to claim he was three years younger than he was. As a result he spent the entire 2010 season on the restricted list and was traded from the Braves to the Indians for cash before the 2012 season.