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Rangers recall Bush, designate Jepsen

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Right-handed reliever Matt Bush is back in the Major Leagues.

The Rangers recalled Bush from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday and designated veteran reliever Kevin Jepsen for assignment. Manager Jeff Banister said Bush will step into his previous role as a multi-inning bridge and late-inning reliever.

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ARLINGTON -- Right-handed reliever Matt Bush is back in the Major Leagues.

The Rangers recalled Bush from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday and designated veteran reliever Kevin Jepsen for assignment. Manager Jeff Banister said Bush will step into his previous role as a multi-inning bridge and late-inning reliever.

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He did just that on Monday, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings in the Rangers' 10-5 loss to the Yankees.

"All the reports on Matt Bush have been quality reports," Banister said. "Fastball velo has been good. Location, pitchability, he has been able to make adjustments. Throw the ball out of the strike zone, he is able to get back in the strike zone. Pitch efficiency has been outstanding."

Bush was optioned to Round Rock on April 25 after he posted a 3.97 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in his first 13 appearances for the Rangers. He pitched in eight games at Round Rock and allowed two runs in nine innings on nine hits and four walks. He struck out 14.

Bush also closed out with 6 2/3 scoreless innings over his last six outings, striking out 12. That helped convince the Rangers he was ready to return.

"I went down there to get better, get more consistent," Bush said. "Just making a few adjustments, throwing more strikes. Being able to command all my pitches. Just not throwing enough strikes. I started throwing more strikes and had some consistent outings down there and got back here ready to go."

Bush said the time in Triple-A also helped him mentally. He was able to spend time with his friend and counselor Roy Silver and clear his head. The Rangers view it as a good sign that Bush went right to Round Rock when he was sent down rather than take the full 72 hours to report.

"I enjoyed it," Bush said. "Great atmosphere there. Great group of guys. Very loose, very relaxed. Had a good amount of time to work with Roy Silver, get back to some basics. Get a fresh start, get a clear mind. Kind of like I did when I first got called up [in 2015]."

Jepsen made the Rangers out of Spring Training and had a 1.69 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP through his first 11 games. But he had a 13.50 ERA and a 2.67 WHIP in his last 10 games as his command became erratic and he lost the effectiveness of his high fastball.

"I just know he came out of Spring Training throwing the ball well," Banister said. "I know he was working hard, but it was a situation where his high fastball got away from him. He still has quality stuff, but Matt was ready to come back and we had to make a decision. This was the decision that had to be made."

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Rangers beat

• Third baseman Adrian Beltre, on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, is doing some baseball activities, but general manager Jon Daniels said, "He is making progress but not close. He is still a couple of weeks away."

• The Rangers are undecided on Thursday's starter against the Royals. Triple-A right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx appears to be a candidate since it is his day to pitch. The Rangers also have long reliever Jesse Chavez as a potential candidate as well as rookie Yohander Mendez, also at Round Rock.

• Utility player Drew Robinson has been activated off the disabled list and optioned to Round Rock. He had been sidelined since May 5 with a strained left hip.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Matt Bush