Any frustration Matt Bush had over his undetermined role with the Rangers seemed to subside with the club informing him he would move back to the bullpen.
"I'm very happy and I get to go back to doing what I know how to do," Bush said Monday, a day after the Rangers told him the experiment as a starter was over. "I feel like we have a really great team this year. There are plenty of good starters and this is a role they need me to go back to. They know what they are doing and I feel like it is the right decision."
The Rangers made the move after three starts. Bush failed to get through the third inning in any of them. He expressed some frustration over uncertainty about his role following a 43-pitch, two-inning outing against Cincinnati on Friday. The Rangers asked him to throw only fastballs and curveballs – a reliever's mix – and to pitch exclusively from the windup.
With Bush out of the rotation mix, the constitution of the Rangers rotation becomes very much uncertain. What is clear: It will not be a straight six-man rotation, but it never was. The aim of the Rangers' flirtation with some form of an expanded rotation is to create a regular five-day rest pattern for the five top starters.
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Cole Hamels, Matt Moore, Doug Fister and Mike Minor all seem assured of spots. Martin Perez, who is scheduled to throw a 75-pitch minor league outing Monday, will join them as soon as he is pronounced ready. That could come during the first turn of the rotation in the regular season; it could come during the second.
Interestingly, Jesse Chavez a prototypical "swing man," is starting the Monday night exhibition against Kansas City. Chavez could step into a five-man rotation when necessary to give the starters extra rest, then shift back into a multi-inning role when the rotation has ideal rest.
Using Chavez as a the swing man and starting the year with Perez on the DL would create an easy route for Bartolo Colon to open the season in the starting rotation, though the Rangers would have to find room on the 40-man roster for him.