Today, the Cubs called Chris Rusin up from Iowa and sent down Brian Schlitter. Rusin was in the running for the fifth starter spot, but Carlos Villanueva took over as Rusin looked rough towards the end of Spring Training.
Because of extra inning games and some pretty bad performances, the bullpen is stretched pretty thin. Rusin offers a lot of versatility, mainly as a spot-starter and in long relief. The addition of a left-hander is nice, too. In his two starts with Iowa this season, Rusin is 0-2 with a 6.52 ERA.
It’s possible that Rusin could pitch from the bullpen, or Carlos Villanueva could slide back to the bullpen and Chris Rusin will start until Jake Arrieta returns.
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) April 12, 2014
Common sense said the Cubs would use Rusin in long-relief, and that’s exactly what they did…for one day. After Villanueva struggled today, Rusin came into the game in the 4th inning and finished the game. In his 5 innings pitched, he gave up one run on three hits, striking out one and walking one.
Rusin heads back to Iowa and in a second tweet on the topic, Mark Gonzales suggests Blake Parker could get the call to join the Cubs. After pitching 5 innings, the Cubs weren’t going to be able to use Rusin for the next few days.
Brian Schlitter pitched pretty well in Spring Training, and looked decent in his first few appearances before struggling in his last outing against the Pirates. Schlitter has appeared in six of the Cubs first 10 games and has a 6.35 ERA.
In other bullpen news, after last night’s 9th inning debacle, Ricky Renteria moved quickly and has taken Jose Veras out as the closer.
#Cubs Renteria says Veras will be used in non save situations for now. Closer will be decided by matchups
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 12, 2014
As an optimist, I’ll assume it will just take Veras an outing or two to find the strike zone again and he’ll be back in.