Hard-throwing right-hander Matt Bush will work as a reliever in Texas Rangers spring training after the organization considered transitioning him to the starting rotation early in the off-season.
That move is off the table for 2017, general manager Jon Daniels said, but could be revisited as the Rangers continue their search for another impact arm for the rotation.
“I’ve never going to take it totally off the table, if circumstances dictate,” Daniels said. “We plan on taking him to camp as a reliever.”
Those who like the idea of making Bush a starter point to his three quality pitches, terrific mechanics and a desire to do the work necessary to make the transition successful. Bush, though, emerged as a lock-down set-up man in 2016 and could help the Rangers short games with what should be a solid bullpen in 2017.
Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and Andrew Cashner are assured rotation spots entering camp with a host of others vying for the final spot.
Righties A.J. Griffin, Nick Martinez, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Tyler Wagner and Mike Hauschild are in the mix, and the Rangers are still seeking to add to that competition. Colby Lewis remains a possibility, Daniels said, but not Bush.
“The thing that we’ve got to continually do is evaluate what we think is best for Matt and the Texas Rangers,” manager Jeff Banister said at the winter meetings. “I don’t think you can try anything in this game. I think what you do is evaluate and make the best decision you possibly can of equally what’s best for both the player and the organization.”