From the Pages of Vine Line: Q&A with Chris Rusin
(Photo by Stephen Green)
It all happened fast last season for Cubs left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin. After a flurry of trades and injuries, the Cubs called the 26-year-old up to the majors, where he made seven starts, posting a 2-3 record and a 6.37 ERA. This year, Rusin is likely slated for the minor leagues, but he could also be an option for a swing role in Chicago. So far this spring, he’s posted a 1.80 ERA in 5.0 innings of work. For the March issue of Vine Line, we talked to the left-hander about his call-up to the big leagues, his goals for this season and how he spends his free time.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW It’s pretty crazy. You get everything thrown at you. The first game was probably the most nervous I’ve been in a long time. After that, you kind of get settled in. It’s just how the big leagues are. I had a couple of rough games that were hard to handle, but I had some good ones too. I’ll take that … and try to learn from it.
THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE [The biggest difference between the minors and the majors is you have to] have an everyday routine, and you have to hit your spots. If you don’t, [hitters are] going to capitalize on that. The penalty for missing your spots here is a lot bigger than it is in the minors. That was the biggest thing. If you miss, they get their pitch and hit it.
CRAFTY LEFTIES I like watching [Tom] Glavine or [Andy] Pettitte just because they weren’t overpowering. They were crafty, and that’s kind of what I am. I don’t power pitch, so I have to find ways to get hitters out.
HONING THE CRAFT [This season, my goal is to] just be more consistent. I’m not going to worry about making a roster spot. I just have to do my part … and come back a better pitcher, a better player, and fight for a spot. [I’m going to] do my best and see what happens in Spring Training.
DOWNTIME I watch SportsCenter all the time. It’s either SportsCenter or video games. I’m just a real relaxed guy. I don’t like to go out and do too much. I play golf here and there, but for the most part, I just watch sports and play Call of Duty all the time. It’s a good offseason thing for me.
To read the complete interview with Rusin, pick up the March issue of Vine Line, featuring Jeff Samardzija, available now at select Jewel-Osco, Walgreens, Meijer, Barnes & Noble and other Chicago-area retailers. Or subscribe to Vine Line today.