One area of uncertainty heading into the 2023 season was the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen. After squandering numerous save opportunities during the second half of the 2022 campaign Matt Arnold and company went out and re-vamped their bullpen during the off-season. They compiled a collection of potentially good relievers, but most are unproven players. They did also bring back a few relievers from a season prior including Matt Bush.
Matt Bush was acquired from the Texas Rangers last July at the trade deadline. In order to acquire him the Brewers parted ways with pitcher Antoine Kelly and infielder Mark Mathias. So far Bush’s results with the Brew Crew have been mixed. This has resulted in uncertainty as to if he should be the eighth inning set up man or not.
On Sunday April 23, 2023 against the Boston Red Sox, Matt Bush had a blow up outing that included surrendering the lead and three consecutive extra base hits. The first two hits were back-to-back home runs off the bats of Justin Turner and Masataka Yoshida. This has resulted in increased skepticism of his ability to be a high leverage reliever.
Following the loss, Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell commented on Matt Bush’s role going forward.
Craig Counsell provided the following response on Matt Bush’s role moving forward: “Matt’s going to have to get outs for us, for sure. We’re going to have to have an eight-man bullpen; that’s what we’re going to count on. He got huge outs in the Seattle series for us. Had a bad day today.”
He additionally goes onto add, “We’ve relied on six guys for essentially the last week. It’s been close games. Just the nature of it is we’ve got some guys tired. We were trying to stay away from some guys and give them a break, especially this early in the season.”
Based on these comments, Craig Counsell appears in no hurry to remove Matt Bush from pitching in high leverage situations. The approach likely will continue to be using everyone and pitcher availability will play a large factor.
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