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Dodgers trade John Ely to Astros for Rob Rasmussen

Ely won the pitching triple crown in the Pacific Coast League in 2012. Rasmussen, a native of Arcadia who pitched for UCLA, pitched ended 2012 pitching in Double-A.

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Dodgers on Wednesday traded John Ely to the Astros for minor league left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Ely didn't seem long for the 40-man roster, so this move wasn't terribly surprising, and it opens up a spot on the 40-man roster.

The Dodgers now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.

Rasmussen was drafted by the Dodgers in the 27th round in 2007 out of Polytechnic High in Pasadena, but opted to attend UCLA instead. He helped lead the Bruins to their third-ever trip to the College World Series, in 2010. Rasmussen was then drafted in the second round by the Marlins in 2010, and was traded to Houston in the Carlos Lee deal on July 4 this season.

Rasmussen, who turns 24 on Apr. 2, was 4-7 with a 3.90 ERA in 16 starts with Class-A Jupiter in the Marlins' system, then moved up a level after the trade. With Double-A Corpus Christi, Rasmussen was 4-4 with a 4.80 ERA in 11 games, including 10 starts, with 44 strikeouts and 18 walks in 54⅓ innings.

Ely won the pitching triple crown in the Pacific Coast League, as he was 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 27 starts with Triple-A Albuquerque. He was called up to the Dodgers on Sept. 1 when rosters expanded, but appeared in only two games. Both appearances came in extra innings, and in both games Ely allowed three runs and suffered the loss.

Ely lasted at least six innings in each of his first seven major league starts, and began his career with a 2.54 ERA, a 3-2 record, with 37 strikeouts and eight walks in 46 innings. But in his last 18 major league appearances, including 12 starts, dating back to 2010, Ely is 1-11 with 62 runs allowed in 69⅓ innings.