The Rangers have promoted right-hander Matt Bush, per a club announcement and as first suggested by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com on Twitter. An active roster spot will be cleared by the demotion of center fielder Delino DeShields Jr., who has been optioned to Triple-A.
Bush will make his major league debut at 30 years of age, which obviously wasn’t the hope when he was taken first overall by the Padres back in 2004. Originally drafted as a shortstop, Bush eventually shifted to the mound after failing to develop at the plate.
That might’ve just been a diversion on his way to the majors, but Bush dealt with drug and alcohol problems and eventually found himself in prison. He served 51 months for a hit-and-run in which he nearly killed a man while driving under the influence.
Bush signed with the Rangers over the winter as the latest step in his effort to get his life back in order, and proceeded to impress in camp this spring. He’s now thrown 17 innings of 2.65 ERA ball at the Double-A level, with 9.5 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9.
As for DeShields, 23, roster pressures and prolonged struggles made this something of a foregone conclusion. Once Ian Desmond showed that he could be relied upon in center, with Drew Stubbs also providing a more experienced option, the club apparently felt the time was right for a demotion. After all, Nomar Mazara has performed even better than might have been hoped, Shin-Soo Choo is nearing return, and Josh Hamilton may not be far behind.
DeShields, of course, was a revelation last year as a Rule 5 pick, posting a .261/.344/.374 batting line and 25 stolen bases. That made it easy for Texas to keep him on the roster all year, gaining permanent rights, but DeShields has scuffled in his first 121 trips to the plate in 2016. At present, he is hitting at a .217/.294/.302 clip and has managed only four swipes in seven attempts.