Germano joins Cubs bullpen amid Dempster rumors

Germano joins Cubs bullpen amid Dempster rumors

ST. LOUIS -- Justin Germano knew about the rumors that Ryan Dempster could be traded, so he wasn't sure what to expect when he got to Busch Stadium Friday to join the Cubs.

"He's one of the best pitchers in the game right now," said Germano, whom the Cubs acquired Thursday from the Red Sox for cash considerations. "He's definitely going to be sought after. Whether that had any impact on me, I have no idea. I'm not really anybody compared to him."

Dempster (5-3, 1.86 ERA) started Friday against the Cardinals. Did Germano think there was a possibility he might get the start?

"I had no idea," Germano said. "I saw that he could be traded today, I saw that I could start today. I still don't know what's going on."

As of now, Germano is in the Cubs' bullpen. The right-hander has spent almost all of the season with Triple-A Pawtucket, where he was 9-4 with a 2.40 ERA in 17 appearances. He made one relief appearance for the Red sox on July 7, and was designated for assignment on July 13.

"I was excited," he said about going to the Cubs. "I wasn't sure what was going to happen. The process was taking a little longer than they said it was going to. They had the 10 days, but they said they would do it pretty quickly. If there was no trade, they said they'd do a waiver process."

He has been stretched out, totaling 105 innings at Pawtucket, so he could've started if needed. Pitching coach Chris Bosio got a firsthand look Friday as Germano did a short session in the bullpen.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum watched Germano pitch against the Brewers, including twice in 2007, and said the right-hander has good sink on his fastball and good command of his curve. He'll take over Jairo Asencio's role in the bullpen and could make a spot start. Asencio, who had a 4.91 ERA in 30 relief appearances, was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Germano.

Germano has pitched for the Padres, Reds, Indians and Red Sox.

"I don't know too much about what's going on here, but I know [the Cubs] have a lot of young guys and a lot of young talent," he said. "I feel it's a good opportunity to show what I can do and hopefully stick and help the team win some games and maybe find a home here."

He definitely saw the difference the Cubs make on Twitter. Germano (@JustGerm) picked up 200 followers after news broke that he'd joined the Cubs.