Dushan Ruzic

From BR Bullpen

Dushan Ruzic

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 8", Weight 277 lb.

Giant right-hander Dushan Ruzic played his second minor league season in 2007.

Ruzic debuted in Australia in the 2002 Claxton Shield, allowing two unearned runs in 1 1/3 IP. In 2004, he was 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA in the event. Ruzic was 0-1 with a 0.84 ERA in the 2005 Claxton Shield and was signed by the Florida Marlins. He struggled in the US, going 2-2 with a 6.41 ERA in 17 games for the GCL Marlins despite being one of the team's oldest pitchers at 23. In the 2006 Claxton Shield, Ruzic allowed 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings and six runs, taking the loss.

The 25-year-old pitcher revived his career in 2007. In 16 innings in the Claxton Shield, he allowed five hits and four walks while striking out 17 and not allowing a single run. He went 2-0 and won the Golden Arm Award. Australian baseball commentators Flintoff & Dunn called it "one of the very greatest pitching performances in Claxton Shield history." That earned Ruzic a spot on the Australian national team. He also was signed by the Cincinnati Reds. Splitting his US season between the Sarasota Reds (2-1, 1 Sv, 2.82 in 30 games) and the Chattanooga Lookouts (1-2, 4.24 in 13 games), he looked much sharper than in his prior minor league season. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, the tall hurler struck out 8 and allowed no runs in 9 1/3 innings as the top hurler on an Australian team that had three pitchers with major league experience and another couple who had spent 2007 in AAA.

Despite his productive 2007, he did not return to the US minors for 2008 and instead signed in late April with DOOR Neptunus in the Netherlands. He had only gone 1-2 with a 6.38 ERA in the 2008 Claxton Shield. He made his Hoofdklasse debut on May 4, throwing two shutout innings in relief of Diegomar Markwell for a save; he allowed two hits and struck out two in a 4-1 win over Sparta/Feyenoord. Ruzic was 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA for Neptunus in the 2008 European Cup in Regensburg, getting the win over the host Buchbinder Legionäre. For the 2008 Hoofdklasse season, Ruzic was 1-0 with 7 saves and a 0.84 ERA, allowing only 18 hits in 32 1/3 innings. He tied Dave Draijer for fourth in the league in saves. He had a 1-1, 2.25 record in the playoffs, where Neptunus fell in an upset.

In the 2009 Hoofdklasse, Ruzic was 7-2 with six saves, a 1.05 ERA, 33 hits, 9 walks and 55 whiffs in 60 innings. He led the league in WHIP, lowest average allowed (.158) and lowest OBP (.199) but was only third in ERA behind Rob Cordemans and Ryan Murphy. He tied fellow Aussie Adam Blackley for sixth in wins and was third in saves behind Pim Walsma and Michiel van Kampen. He was 1-0 with a save and a 0.00 ERA in the playoffs. In the 2009 Holland Series, he allowed three runs (one earned) in six innings in losing game two to Roger Kops. Neptunus still took the title, beating the Pioniers in the other three contests.

With Australia in the 2009 Baseball World Cup, he got the win over the Italian national team. Relieving Liam Hendriks with a 3-1 deficit after two, he gave up two hits and no runs in the final seven innings. Against the Cuban national team, he gave up a 2-run homer to Alfredo Despaigne in losing a 2-1 duel to Norge Luis Vera, nearly pulling off the upset. He saved the win over the Dutch national team as well. Overall, he allowed just 11 hits and 3 runs (all unearned) in 21 innings in the Cup, going 1-1 with a save. He led Australia's pitching staff.

Dushan went 2-1 with a 5.80 ERA for South Australia in the 2010 Claxton Shield after sitting out 2009. He was 9-0 with two saves and a 1.56 ERA in 2010. He fanned 78 and allowed 45 hits in 81 innings. He was 6th in ERA (behind Leon Boyd, Rob Cordemans, Diegomar Markwell, David Bergman and Nick Veltkamp), second in opponent average (.167, trailing Boyd), third in strikeouts (behind Bergman and Boyd) and tied with five others for second in wins (behind Bergman). He tossed 14 innings in the 2010 European Cup without allowing an earned run and got the victory over T&A San Marino. He led in ERA. He then starred in the 2010 Holland Series, winning game two against the Amsterdam Pirates in relief of Boyd, saving game three with 2 2/3 shutout innings (after replacing Kevin Heijstek) and winning game five with two perfect relief innings. He was named Series MVP as Neptunus won the title in six games.