Rusin to start for Cubs tonight

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former Kentucky southpaw Chris Rusin has been called up from Triple-A Iowa and will make his MLB debut as the starting pitcher on Tuesday at the Milwaukee Brewers.

Rusin, a native of Canton, Mich., will be making his MLB debut at the Brewers for the Cubs on Tuesday night, with first pitch slated for 8:10 p.m. ET. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound southpaw starred for the Wildcats from 2006-09 before the Cubs drafted him in the fourth round of the 2009 MLB Draft.

Rusin has been a workhorse starter for the Iowa Cubs in 2012, making 24 starts and owning an 8-8 record and a 4.59 ERA. He has tossed 133.1 innings in 2012, walking 52 and striking out 87. Over his last four starts, Rusin had tossed 24.1 innings and allowed only five earned runs.

During his decorated UK career, Rusin made 56 appearances and 45 starts, posting a 23-11 record with a 4.14 ERA. Rusin hurled eight complete games in his career, with 302.1 innings pitched and 274 strikeouts. In 2008, Rusin helped lead UK to a 44-win season with a 6-3 mark and a 3.33 ERA. Following his 2009 season, Rusin was the 140th overall player picked in the MLB Draft, going to the Cubs in the fourth round, a year after returning to UK for his senior season as a 23rd round pick.

In his career, Rusin exited with the second-most wins in UK history, the fourth-best win-loss percentage (.677), the fourth-most starts and the 10th-most complete games. The lefty also ranked fourth in innings pitched and second in strikeouts in UK history.

Rusin is the second former Wildcat to make his MLB debut in the last two years, as former UK first-team All-America centerfielder Collin Cowgill debuted with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011 and the Oakland Athletics in 2012. Rusin will be the fourth UK player to play in the big leagues in 2012, joining Cowgill, right-hander Joe Blanton (Phillies/Dodgers) and lefty Scott Downs (Angels).

Rusin and Cowgill have helped headline a bevy of talent to come through Lexington since the 2006 SEC Championship season. Since 2006, a total of 54 UK players have been drafted or sign a professional contract, an average of 7.29 players per season. A staggering total of 36-percent of the players drafted or to sign a professional contract in program history have come under coach Gary Henderson, who served as recruiting coordinator/associate head coach from 2004-08 before taking over as head coach.