Is a third Tommy John ahead for Matt Bush? Texas Rangers await word on his sore elbow

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Jeff Wilson
·2 min read
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Matt Bush has undergone Tommy John surgery twice in his career, so the news Friday that Texas Rangers placed him on the 10-day injured list with elbow inflammation sounds like trouble.

He and the Rangers were awaiting final word from team physician Dr. Keith Meister on the severity of the injury and are hoping the IL stay will be a short one.

“Putting him in the IL protects him,” manager Chris Woodward said. “If nothing’s there and it’s not that big of an issue, then 10 days from now he will be fine. But we just want to make sure because his arm just doesn’t feel that good.”

Bush pitched in seven games in spring training, logging 5 2/3 innings, and worked in an inning in three of the Rangers’ first six games. He allowed a home run in each outing, and the last two appearances came on back-to-back days.

Woodward said that he repeatedly asked Bush if he was OK to pitch Wednesday afternoon after working Tuesday night. Bush, who had his second Tommy John surgery in 2019, also made an awkward off-balance throw to first base during his 24-pitch inning Wednesday. He threw only 13 pitches Tuesday.

“We protected him in the offseason, and we communicated with him the entire time,” Woodward said. “When you get in the heat of the moment, there’s nothing we can do to prepare for that. He said he felt fine.”

Bush’s spot in the bullpen was taken by Brett Martin, who came off the IL after being delayed in spring training by back spasms. The left-hander will join closer Ian Kennedy at the back of the bullpen, and they should be soon be joined by lefty Joely Rodriguez as he nears his return from the IL (ankle).

The Rangers also placed third baseman Brock Holt on the IL with a strained right hamstring and replaced him with Anderson Tejeda from the alternate site. The thought is that Holt will be ready once his 10 days are up.