KSR College’s David Mulloy…
Kentucky Baseball Alumni Scott Downs and Chris Rusin, have been a part of integral trades over the last week before baseball’s non-waver trading deadline.
Scott Downs (Atlanta Braves)
For those of you like myself who have chosen the Braves as your summer sports team, Downs’ trade to Atlanta fills a huge gap in the Braves’ bullpen. The Louisville (PRP) native, who pitched for the Cats between 1995-1997, is in the midst of his 12th MLB season and the final season of a three-year, $15 million contract. He was traded from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (who have two other Wildcats, Joe Blanton and Collin Cowgill, on their roster) to the Atlanta Braves yesterday afternoon for minor league pitcher Cory Rasmus. Downs was 2-3 with a 1.84 ERA in 43 appearances for the Angles this season. Downs, who arrived in Atlanta after the series opener against the Colorado Rockies began, ended up the winner in a ten-inning affair last night and became the first pitcher to earn the win on the day he was traded since 2004. Downs will fill the crucial set-up role for the Braves who lost 8th inning specialist Jonny Venters to Tommy John surgery earlier this season. As of today, the Braves own a nine game lead in the NL East and the second-best record in the league, which could give Downs his first legitimate shot at a pennant in his career.
Chris Rusin (Chicago Cubs)
Rusin, who pitched for the Cats between 2006-2009, was added back to the Cubs’ rotation last week after Matt Garza’s trade to the Texas Rangers. Rusin made seven starts for the Cubs late last season, earning a 2-3 record and a 6.37 ERA, but was sent back to the minors after spring training. He was called up to the majors for a lone start verses the Oakland Athletics at the beginning of the month. After the Garza trade, Rusin was summoned from Des Moines to pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks on virtually no notice and earned the win in a five-inning effort in which he allowed two earned runs on as many hits. Rusin received a no-decision in his best major league outing last Sunday against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants with a seven-inning shutout effort in an eventual 1-0 Cubs victory. Rusin has not been assured a permanent spot in the rotation going forward, but if his last two starts are any indication, he may want to look into some real estate in Wrigleyville.