Matt Bush is headed back to the Texas Rangers’ bullpen.
“We just feel that Matt is way too important to us in the bullpen,” manager Jeff Banister said after Sunday’s spring training game vs. the Angels. “Just his set of pitches, how he pitches, so we feel like that’s the best move for him as well as us as a team trying to structure the bullpen the best way we possibly can going forward.”
Bush had been under consideration to join the Rangers rotation. He’s made three Cactus League appearances, including two starts, and has posted a 5.40 ERA.
Bush started on Friday and expressed frustration afterward. He wasn’t pleased with his results, or the fact that he was held to just 43 pitches on a night he would’ve preferred to throw closer to 60 pitches.
“If I end up moving back, it’s something I’d rather know sooner than later because I feel like it is a mental block,” Bush said after Friday’s game.
The Rangers made that decision Sunday, informing Bush of the move in the morning. Banister said Bush took the news well and is ready to get back to being a reliever.
Bush will not be under consideration for the closer job, Banister said. Instead, the Rangers believe his value is as a multi-inning reliever.
“Look, we feel like Matt has an opportunity to be one of those exceptional in today’s game bridge pitchers,” Banister said. “[A pitcher who] can give us the one-plus type scenarios which he’s done for us in the past.”
Bush has spent the past two seasons in the Rangers’ bullpen. He made 57 appearances last season, posting a 3.78 ERA with 10 saves. In 2016, he made 58 appearances with a 2.48 ERA.