Matt Bush is coming off a decent 2017 season. He’s come a very long way from being a convicted felon to becoming a popular name in the Texas Rangers organization. The 31-year-old has played two years of major league baseball. Furthermore, he’s stayed out of trouble showing his commitment and dedication to playing baseball.
While 2017 was somewhat of a decent year for Bush, he did have his struggles. He began the season as the team’s closer and lost the role on July 1st after suffering his fifth blown save. After losing the closing duties, he returned to the role of reliever and did well since. Bush did a good job of keeping his head up and keeping his concentration at the right place.
According to TR Sullivan, the Rangers apparently had discussions about moving Bush to the starting rotation. In 115 career appearances, Bush has a 3.08 ERA with 11 saves. However, he may not be ready to assume a starting role. With Bush being in his 30s now, it’s a tough decision to make.
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Moving a reliever to the starting rotation is certainly a risky decision. In the Rangers case, past pitchers such as Scott Feldman and CJ Wilson, both of whom went from relieving to starting turned to be quite good. In 2009, Feldman began this season until he was moved to the rotation, where he began 5-0, going on to win 17 games that year. In 2010, CJ Wilson returned to being a starter going 31-15 the next two seasons.
In 2012, the Rangers decided to move Neftali Feliz to the starting rotation. However, after suffering an injury that required Tommy John Surgery, the plan ultimately backfired.
The Rangers do not want to go through that again. It’s an unnecessary risk. For now, it may be wiser to keep Bush as a reliever. Bush may be better off remaining in the bullpen. The last thing he needs to have too much on his plate.