Matt Bush is living in the Metroplex this off-season and working out at Globe Life Park, so he learned from the local media that the Texas Rangers were mulling a change in career paths for him.
He even considered what life would be like in a major-league starting rotation rather than the bullpen, where he made his MLB debut last season and quickly became one of the Rangers’ top relief options.
When he thought about a change, though, he wasn’t sure if it was in his best interest. The Rangers apparently were thinking the same way, and club brass decided that Bush will remain in the bullpen for 2017.
“Looking back on my season, I’m very grateful and very thankful to be able to stay healthy and strong and continue to progress into the role I was in. I’m looking forward to being able to do the same,” Bush said Thursday night.
“I’ve never started professionally. I feel great with where I’m at as a reliever right now. I feel like it’s the best place for me right now. I still have some building to do with my arm. My career is very young. I just want to continue to do what I did last year.”
61 Strikeouts for Matt Bush in 2016 in 58 appearances
Bush, who appeared at the annual Newberg Report Book Release Party, went 7-2 with a 2.48 ERA over 61 2/3 innings spanning 58 appearances after debuting in mid-May. Only six months earlier he had been released from a 3 1/2-year jail sentence for a drunken-driving incident.
Bush, who turns 31 in February, has been playing catch for about a month but doesn’t expect to begin throwing off a mound until just before spring training. The Rangers will head to spring training with Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and Andrew Cashner locked into rotation spots and a large group competing to be the fifth starter.