Rusin becomes the second Cubs pitcher this season to make his major league debut as a starter, following Brooks Raley, who made his major-league debut on Aug. 7 at San Diego.
Because of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Cubs used all five of their starters in a span of four days, going back to Friday. Travis Wood started Friday’s game, but if he pitched Tuesday that would only give him three days of rest.
It doesn’t sound as if Rusin’s stay will be a long one.
“He’ll just get that one for now and as we move forward we’ll see what’s going on,” manager Dale Sveum said.
The left-hander was 8-8 at Triple-A Iowa with a 4.59 ERA over 24 starts. The fourth-round selection in 2009 has been especially solid over his last four starts, giving up a combined four runs, including a scoreless six-inning outing at Tucson in his last start Wednesday.
For now, Rusin will get the same speech that all new starters have been getting: Throw strikes, get ahead of the count and not be your own worst enemy. It’s often easier said than done.
“I don’t care where you are you have to throw strikes and keep the ball down,” Sveum said. “If you’re not overpowering, you need your movement and you need be good with location. That’s the bottom line in pitching unless you have a big-time power arm. You get out there and it’s no different than pitching in Triple-A. You still have to make your pitches.”
“Going into any winter most of the time that’s the first priority is to address the rotation, see what you have, see what’s out there and see what you have in your system … obviously the minor league system as well as free agency,’ Sveum said.