The No. 1 pick in the 2004 draft resurfaced as a relief pitcher in 2016 and delivered stellar numbers, including an 8.9 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9. Those are closer-like peripherals, and Matt Bush flashed them most of the time in high-leverage spots. The demise of Shawn Tolleson opened the door for Bush, who clocked in with a 97.0 mph average on his four-seam fastball. Sam Dyson built up a decent leash on the closer role, but Bush probably ranks only behind Jeremy Jeffress on the depth chart for save speculation. Bush's ratios and strikeout potential can improve any deep fantasy club's pitching staff, and he's a gem in holds leagues. Adding closer opportunities to his skills could make the 31-year-old a highly valuable asset in all formats.
Bush got the call in the ninth inning Wednesday, and he mowed down the Rockies neatly in order with a strikeout for his first career save. Regular closer Sam Dyson had pitched three of the last four days, as had recently acquired setup man Jeremy Jeffress, while Jake Diekman was called upon in the eighth. That left Bush, who's a pretty darn good fourth option, considering his 2.56 ERA and 34:9 K:BB over 39.2 innings. He'll return to holds duty moving forward, but the 30-year-old has closer potential even if it'll be hard for him to realize it in the Rangers' crowded bullpen.
Bush has allowed two earned runs across 13.1 innings of work this season. Since making his first appearance of the season on May 13, Bush is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. His control has been exceptional, and he has a walk rate of just 5.3 percent to show for it. However, he does have room to improve, as left-handed batters are hitting .353 against Bush.
Bush retired the side in order in his major-league debut Friday. Bush fanned Josh Donaldson before retiring Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion on a pair of pop ups. He entered the game in the ninth inning with Texas trailing by five runs.
Bush was called up by the Rangers on Friday, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports. After being out of baseball since 2011 due to some off-field issues, the former first-overall draft pick will finally get the opportunity to make his major league debut. Bush has been electric for Double-A Frisco this season, posting a 2.65 ERA and 0.76 WHIP with 18 strikeouts and five saves in 17 innings with the Rough Riders, but he'll likely slot into more low-leverage situations during his stint with Texas.
Bush signed a minor league deal with the Rangers on Friday, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 draft has been out of baseball since 2011, and he was released from prison in late-October after serving time for a DUI-related incident. While he's only 29 years old, it still seems like a longshot that Bush will ever make an impact at the major-league level.