Sun, Feb. 26, 2006
Germano eyes shot in Reds starting rotation
SARASOTA, Fla. - Justin Germano has been a young man on the move.
Now the question is whether the 23-year-old right-hander will keep on moving, into the Cincinnati Reds' starting rotation this season.
Germano already had some big-league experience and was a starting pitcher in Triple-A last July when the Reds traded third baseman Joe Randa to San Diego for Germano and another Padre pitching prospect, Travis Chick.
Germano made the transition from the Padres' Portland team, where he was 7-6 with a 3.70 earned run average, to the Reds' Louisville team, where he was 3-2 with a 4.01 ERA.
"I didn't know how it was going to be, going to a new team, it being my first time being traded and all," Germano said. "But the coaches and players made it a lot easier for me to get adjusted."
With Reds' starting pitcher Paul Wilson trying to bounce back from shoulder surgery, Germano is getting a look during the Reds' spring training as a potential option for the major-league staff.
"Just watching him out there throwing, it looks like he has a real good idea," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "It looks like's going to be a guy that can throw strikes.
"It's going to be interesting," Narron said. "The way our roster is right now, he's going to have a chance to pitch this spring."
Germano likes having a chance to compete for the major-league squad. He pitched in seven games for the Padres in 2004, going 1-2 with an 8.86 ERA.
"San Diego had a logjam of pitching and top prospects, so it was tough just to get up there and stay," he said. "I definitely see some opportunity here, and I'm excited to be here. I've heard that I'm a contender to be in the rotation at some point this year, so whether I make it out of spring or make it during the season, I just want to get there."
Germano agreed that he throws strikes, but said he needs to focus on his location, keeping his fastball down.
"This is the best I've ever felt at this point," he said. "I started a little bit earlier this offseason, doing a little more serious throwing."