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Inbox: Will Bush pitch for Rangers this season?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers fans' questions
@Sullivan_Ranger
June 24, 2019

What are the chances that Matt Bush will pitch for the Rangers this year? -- Sandy R., Oklahoma City, Okla. Excellent. The Rangers have been moving relievers in and out of Arlington at a dizzying rate, so it would seem likely Bush will get his chance sooner than later. He

What are the chances that Matt Bush will pitch for the Rangers this year?
-- Sandy R., Oklahoma City, Okla.

Excellent. The Rangers have been moving relievers in and out of Arlington at a dizzying rate, so it would seem likely Bush will get his chance sooner than later. He underwent surgery on Sept. 19, 2018, to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and missed the first two months of the season. But he is back to full strength and throwing the ball well at Double-A Frisco. He could end up being a great story for Texas this summer.

What is up with Matt Davidson? I know the pitching experiment was ended, but last I heard, he was about to become a breakout hitter, and then I've heard zippo.
-- Mary V., Galveston, Texas

Davidson is at Triple-A Nashville and doing what he normally does. Through 72 games, he's hitting .233 with 19 home runs, 51 RBIs and a .496 slugging percentage. He also has 88 strikeouts in 262 at-bats. Davidson has serious power, but the high number of strikeouts remains an issue.

Now that the Rangers have given up on Drew Smyly, is Shelby Miller in danger of being let go as well?
-- James A., Fort Worth, Texas

Miller has had mixed results as a reliever, but has been much better than when he was in the rotation. He can also still bring the fastball at 94-96 miles per hour. The Rangers will likely let this experiment play out a little longer. Obviously, as was the case with Smyly and Jeanmar Gomez, who were both designated for assignment, Texas' patience is not unlimited, but there is still some hope Miller could find his niche in middle relief. Remember, the Rangers need someone who can fill Jesse Chavez’s spot now that he is going into the rotation.

Would the Rangers be interested in Madison Bumgarner at the Trade Deadline. He would really look good in a Rangers uniform.
-- Paul F., Fort Worth, Texas

Bumgarner would look good in anybody’s uniform, and if the Giants make him available, there would be multiple teams interested. But remember he can be a free agent at the end of the year with no Draft compensation attached if he is traded midseason. The Giants would demand significant prospects in return for a rental player. That would seem contrary to what the Rangers are trying to do. If they attempt to add starting pitching in July, they will likely look for somebody who would be here beyond this season or would be a cheap rental.

What is Danny Santana’s contract status for next year? Do you see the Rangers re-signing him?
-- Kelly T., Arlington

Santana is not a free agent. He won’t be eligible until after the 2021 season. Until then, he will be arbitration-eligible in each of the next two offseasons. The way he has played for the Rangers this season, he has firmly planted himself into the club’s future beyond this season.

Other than pitching, what is the main need for the Rangers?
-- Blaine H., Woodson, Texas

More offense from their catchers, but the Rangers knew going into the season that this would be a shortcoming. They still speak highly of Jeff Mathis in all regards besides his offense. Not sure there is a serious upgrade out there anyway, so the best Texas can hope is Isiah Kiner-Falefa gets back off the injured list soon.

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.