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Rusin forcing change in Cubs’ plans?
SAN FRANCISCO – Whether it’s a sign of real depth developing in the Cubs’ pitching ranks or just one guy making the most of an opportunity, left-hander Chris Rusin is starting to impact the Cubs’ starting rotation plans down the stretch.
Rusin, who has been called up from AAA Iowa twice this month to make spot starts for traded pitchers Scott Feldman and Matt Garza, has pitched well enough in three starts to put himself in position for a longer-than-expected look.
Since trading for pitcher Jake Arrieta early in the month and sending Scott Baker (elbow) on a rehab assignment about two weeks later, the Cubs anticipated both would finish the season in the Cubs’ rotation.
But then what about Rusin – who has a 2.93 ERA after seven scoreless innings Saturday?
“Competition and depth and all that – that’s what makes it a great game,” manager Dale Sveum said, “because when you perform you change the way people think. Performance is everything in this game. Usually when you perform you don’t lose your job.
“There’s no doubt he’s changed a lot of minds moving forward.”
Rusin’s next start would be Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Arrieta is scheduled to be added to the roster for a day on Tuesday to start the second game of a doubleheader against Milwaukee.
And Baker on Monday makes his fourth rehab start, his first for advanced-A Daytona after three rough starts for Class A Kane County.