Texas Rangers Making Right Decision with Matt Bush

There had been some talk about the Texas Rangers putting Matt Bush into the starting rotation. Instead, they are making the correct move by keeping him in the bullpen.

Stop us if this sounds familiar. The Texas Rangers had a need in their starting rotation, and were looking for options to fill that void. Talk began about a young reliever who had been dominant in the bullpen, and the idea that he would be moved to the starting rotation. And so, the Rangers decided to make that move with Neftali Feliz for the 2012 season.

Feliz had been an All Star closer, notching 72 saves to go along with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.010 WHiP while striking out 125 batters in 131.2 innings over the previous two years. However, with Joe Nathan in the fold, Feliz was moved to the rotation, where he made seven starts before his season ended on May 18th as he needed Tommy John surgery. It took until last year for Feliz to regain his form, doing so in the Pirates uniform.

This offseason, the Rangers find themselves in a similar situation. They have a hole in their starting rotation, and are not overly impressed with the options available. As such, there had been talk about moving another solid reliever, Matt Bush, into the rotation for 2017. As a 30 year old rookie, Bush had dominated, posting a 2.48 ERA and a 0.941 WHiP, striking out 61 batters against 14 walks in 61.2 innings.

In this case, that move does not appear as though it will happen. Instead of moving him into the rotation, the Rangers are looking at keeping Bush in the bullpen, allowing him to continue to flourish in a role that he is already familiar with.

This is certainly the correct move. While Sam Dyson had a solid year as the Rangers closer after taking over for Shawn Tolleson, that spot is still unsettled. Even if Dyson retains the closer role, the Rangers would need to locate another setup man, and given the high price for quality relief pitching, Bush is a much cheaper, and possibly better, option.

Yes, the Rangers rotation still has a couple of question marks, including free agent signee Andrew Cashner. And it would be tempting to see what Bush could do as a starter. However, there are a few intriguing arms still available, including Jason Hammel, that could fit into the rotation. The Rangers have options if they are willing to take the plunge into free agency once more.

The Texas Rangers still need help in the starting rotation. But keeping Matt Bush in the bullpen is the right move for both sides.

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