Change of plans: Bush likely done
Dave Bush has probably thrown his final 2009 pitch for the Brewers, who are suddenly scrambling to fill the final innings of the season.
Bush and the team changed course on Wednesday and decided it was best for the right-hander to skip his scheduled start on Saturday in St. Louis and call it a season. Bush spent about two months on the disabled list earlier this season with a right triceps injury and has struggled with fatigue since his return.
“It’s been a challenge,” Bush said. “What you don’t want to do is go out and do something stupid on Saturday and get myself in a position where it could affect me beyond that.”
If Bush cannot start for the Brewers on Saturday, who will? Manager Ken Macha found himself asking that question on Wednesday, and called general manager Doug Melvin to see if there were any reinforcements available.
The Brewers are short, even with expanded September rosters, because Yovani Gallardo has been shut down for the year as a precaution (he is not an option to come back, Macha said firmly) and Mike Burns has been shut down with a shoulder injury. Rookie Josh Butler might have been an option, but the Brewers sent him home after Sunday’s home finale and he’s driving cross-country this week from Huntsville to San Diego before reporting for the Arizona Fall League.
Carlos Villanueva could be called upon to make an emergency start. Other healthy pitchers on the 40-man roster but not currently in the big leagues include Omar Aguilar, Tim Dillard, Mark Rogers and Cody Scarpetta. Aguilar and Rogers are both slated for the AFL.
For now, the Brewers are not listing a starter for Saturday or Sunday, leaving open the possibility that scheduled Sunday starter Chris Narveson could bump up to pitch a day early. Macha could also cobble together a “bullpen day,” using Villanueva for a few innings at the start and then filling-in relievers behind him, but even that could be difficult, Macha said, because a number of relievers were, “dragging.” He wouldn’t identify any of those pitchers.
“We’ve got a couple of things we’re thinking about,” Macha said. “What we need to do is get through these next few days, and then we’ll let you know.”
Melvin was in Arizona with the Brewers’ instructional leaguers and did not immediately return a phone call. He is to re-join the big league team in St. Louis on Friday.