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Cubs claim righthander Jairo Asencio off waivers

Righthander Michael Bowden designated for assignment

SAN FRANCISCO – The Chicago Cubs today claimed right-handed pitcher Jairo Asencio off waivers from the Cleveland Indians.  Right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden was designated for assignment.  Asencio will join Chicago’s 25-man big league roster.

Asencio, who turned 29 last Wednesday, is 1-2 with a 6.05 ERA (26 ER/38.2 IP) in 27 major league relief outings with Atlanta (2009, 2011) and Cleveland (2012).  He went to spring training with the Braves this year before being acquired by Cleveland on March 29 for a cash consideration.  In 18 relief outings with the Indians this year, Asencio went 1-1 with a 5.96 ERA (17 ER/25.2 IP) before being designated for assignment on May 28. 

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound righthander went 3-2 with 26 saves and a 1.81 ERA (11 ER/54.2 IP) in 47 relief appearances for Atlanta’s Triple-A Gwinnett affiliate in 2011.  Asencio, whose 26 saves led the International League, struck out 70 and walked 22 in 54.2 innings, limiting foes to a .196 batting average.  The Dominican Republic native earned 2011 Triple-A Relief Pitcher of the Year honors and was named the 2012 Caribbean Series MVP.

Asencio owns a 33-30 record with 86 saves and a 3.81 ERA (224 ER/529.1 IP) in 253 career minor league games (44 starts). He recorded 27 saves in 2009 with Gwinnett and 28 saves in 2008 with Double-A Mississippi.

Bowden, 25, was acquired from the Red Sox on April 21 in the trade that sent outfielder Marlon Byrd to Boston.  The right-handed pitcher posted no record and a 7.45 ERA (8 ER/9.2 IP) in 10 relief appearances for the Cubs this season.

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