ST. LOUIS -- New Chicago Cubs pitcher Justin Germano started Friday’s game out in the bullpen, but he was ready to do much more if it came down to it.
Germano was acquired by the Cubs from the Boston Red Sox on Thursday for cash considerations. The timing of the move suggested that it was a backup plan in case Ryan Dempster was traded and the club needed an emergency starter.
Ultimately, a Dempster move was not made as the veteran right-hander went out in the first inning and gave up three runs to end his scoreless streak at 33 innings.
Germano, who has 36 career big-league starts, landed with a Cubs team that entered play 15 games under .500. But he still could see the value of the opportunity, especially since he had recently been designated for assignment by the Red Sox.
“I don’t really know too much about what’s going on here, but it seems like they have a lot of young guys and a lot of young talent,” said Germano, who grew up in suburban Los Angeles and has been living in the San Diego area. “I feel like it would be a good opportunity to come in and show what I can do and hopefully stick, help the team win some games, and maybe find a home.”
Germano has an 8-20 career major-league record with a 5.02 ERA. The 29-year old spent the last two seasons in the Cleveland Indians organization. Cubs manager Dale Sveum gave his own scouting report after seeing Germano pitch in the past against the Milwaukee Brewers.
“Good sink on his fastball, nothing overpowering,” Sveum said. “Really has command of his curveball, a strike thrower is going to be down in the strike zone and get ground balls. It’s just a nice arm. He’s kind of a veteran guy who throws strikes and can make the ball move and keep the ball on the ground.”
Germano had been starting at Triple-A Pawtucket in the Red Sox’s system. He had one outing on the major-league level as a reliever, going 5 2/3 scoreless innings July 4 against the Yankees.
While admitting that he didn’t know much about the Cubs’ current rebuilding process, he did know about the Dempster trade rumors.
“Yeah, I mean, we read stuff about there was interest out there,” he said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the game right now. He’s definitely going to be sought after. Whether or not that had any impact on me, I have no idea. I’m not really anybody compared to him.”