Bush sim game a success; Suppan roughed up

Dave Bush’s 45-pitch simulated game at Miller Park on Saturday went well — “Excellent,” was assistant general manager Gord Ash’s word of choice — and the right-hander will take the next step in a rehabilitation assignment with Class A Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Bush, who has not pitched in the Majors since June 20 because of a triceps injury, simulated three innings against a group of hitters that included Jason Bourgeois and Alcides Escobar. The Brewers will re-evaluate their options after Bush pitches for the Timber Rattlers on Tuesday.

“From my eye, there was no trepidation in his release of the ball,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “His cutter was cutting pretty well, and his sinker was sinking with good finish.”

Did Bush feel any soreness?

“Not right now. We’ll see a little more tomorrow, but I was pleased with how it went,” he said. “I felt comfortable out there, felt like I was able to put out the kind of effort I needed to and I didn’t feel tentative at all, so I’m definitely pleased about that. I’m not anticipating anything because I feel pretty good now. It’s always good to sleep on it and make sure it all works well tomorrow.”

Bush had hoped to be back in the rotation weeks ago. He made the second of two Minor League rehabilitation starts the day before Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game and had to exit early with arm fatigue. This time, he’s being cautious.

“I’ve been down this road once, so I want to make sure I’m ready for each step at a time,” Bush said.

Another rehabbing right-hander, Jeff Suppan, working back from an oblique injury, started for Wisconsin on Saturday night and surrendered four runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings. He pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, but got into trouble after an infield single to shortstop Josh Prince leading off the second. Prince, the Brewers’ third-round Draft pick this year, also committed an error in the inning.

Suppan threw 31 of his 39 pitches for strikes.

“Preparing for this start after the layoff, I was looking for no apprehension on my part with my oblique, and I felt that I didn’t have any apprehension,” Suppan told the Appleton Post-Crescent. “So that was the main key for me. Pitch-wise … my command wasn’t really where it would be [with] getting proper throwing and proper bullpens. But I was very happy overall with how I felt.”

Earlier this week Macha said that, with a good outing, the hope was for Suppan to re-join Milwaukee’s starting rotation during the team’s Aug. 21-24 series in Washington. After Saturday’s game, Macha said that is no longer the case.

“We
were kind of hoping … but it doesn’t look like it after tonight,” he said.

Macha also said the role of Mike Burns — rotation or bullpen — is still undecided. Because of an off day on Thursday, the Brewers could use four pitchers in the next rotation and skip Burns, who allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings Saturday.

You can read the full report of Suppan’s start in Appleton here.

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