Rumblings in the Bullpen: Rusin Up,
Schlitter Down, Veras Out as Closer

RusinToday, 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.

*EDIT 4:19pm*


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.


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.

Corey Fineran

Founder and Lead Host at Ivy Envy
A Cubs fan since 1985, Corey has seen (few) highs and (many) lows from the Boys in Blue.When he is not talking about the Cubs on The Ivy Envy Podcast, Corey helps high school students with disabilities become successful in the world of work…or he’s taking care of the chickens.

About Corey Fineran

7 comments
Ivy Envy
Ivy Envy

Michael Cotton It comes down to how many options the players have left. I believe Schlitter had 2 or 3 left, Veras doesn't have any options.

Michael Cotton
Michael Cotton

I haven't gotten to watch all the games, but wasn't Schlitter pitching well? Veras has been terrible, he should get sent down.

Ivy Envy
Ivy Envy

I do believe I predicted Veras would close the entire season. I expected him to find the strike zone.

Bob Hall
Bob Hall

'Goggles' saves for The Cubs this season, anyone? Over / under 0.5...

Dawn Strand
Dawn Strand

I love every word in this headline...

Tim Wortman Jr.
Tim Wortman Jr.

I thought in the prediction podcast he thought he'd make it the whole year. Glad I asked the question, I didn't think he would last long

Jim Dreyer
Jim Dreyer

Wow Corey is getting good at predicting the closer situation. Not really a longshot call, but got it right anyway