Cubs part ways with Rusch

Cubs part ways with Rusch

CHICAGO -- The Cubs announced Thursday that they have released left-handed pitcher Glendon Rusch, whose 2006 season ended early because of a life-threatening blood clot in his lung.

Rusch, 32, has compiled a 60-94 record and 5.01 ERA in his nine big-league seasons, including a 3-8 record and 7.46 ERA last season for the Cubs. He needs four more appearances to reach 300 games in his career. Of his 296 appearances, he made 211 starts.

The lefty pitched for the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and the Cubs. In 2002, he led the National League with 16 losses, posting a 10-16 record for the Brewers. He was 1-12 the following year, and signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs in April 2004.

The clot was discovered when Rusch felt pain in his chest about 30 seconds into a workout at Wrigley Field in September. He was hospitalized for one week, and put on blood-thinning medication for a minimum of six months. The medication would not allow Rusch to play baseball because he couldn't take the risk of getting hit.

"If I got hit by a line drive, it could be fatal," Rusch said in September. "That part is tough."

Team physician Dr. Stephen Adams told Rusch that if the clot wasn't treated correctly it could be a life-threatening problem.

At the time, Rusch had not considered retiring.

"I haven't gotten that far," he said in September. "I would hate to make any decisions until I know what it'll be in the future. I'd love to play longer. We'll see what happens."

Doctors did discover Rusch had a family history of clots.

Rusch signed a two-year, $6 million contract extension with the Cubs on Oct. 31, 2005, and was to receive $3.25 million in 2007.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.