Showtime for Justin Germano

Justin Germano was in a movie when the call for his promotion came. A few voice mails later and a callback before his Manager told him of his ascension from the Mobile BayBears to the Portland Beavers. An elbow injury to Chris Oxspring, their best starter this year, brought Portland to a crossroads and Germano was the logical choice.

With a rainout in Carolina, Justin Germano was killing a little time at the movies. Multiple calls by his Manager were going straight to voice mail. While the news was delayed, the leader of the BayBear pitching staff earned the well-deserved promotion to Portland.

Germano remains humble about his luck.

"It was a little surprising," Germano said. "I wasn't expecting to get moved up this soon. Oxspring got hurt and I am glad they went to me."

His first start will come in Portland for the Beavers on Thursday. With opening night jitters gone, as he was the opening night starter for Mobile, Germano believes the transition will be smooth.

"I am not nervous," Germano said of his first start in Triple-A. "It is just baseball, a game I have been playing my whole life. If I go out there and just keep making the same pitches I have been making down in Mobile I think I will be fine."

Germano went 2-1 with Mobile this year and his promotion to Portland comes on the heels of an outing that saw him go 7.1 innings without surrendering an earned run. Germano leads the Southern League in innings pitched with 32.1, allowing nine earned runs during that span. His ERA was a solid 2.51 and his WHIP (walk plus hits per inning pitched) was 1.18 for the year.

Germano opened his Mobile career at the end of 2003 with a 2-5 mark in nine starts. With a WHIP of 1.26 that comprised of timely hits against him, his ERA ballooned to 4.34.

The former 13th round draft pick in the 2000 draft, coming straight out of high school, has belied his age. He has been promoted at least one level since his arrival in the Minors and continues the trend in 2004 with the Portland Beavers. Depending on how he performs, he could conceivably stay on board when Chris Oxspring returns.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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