The Rangers announced today that two of their pitchers have undergone surgery, as MLB.com’s TR Sullivan was among those to tweet. Reliever Matt Bush had a procedure to address a partial UCL tear, while fellow righty Austin Bibens-Dirkx received work to his knee, the details of which remain to be provided.
Clearly, the news is especially concerning with regard to Bush, who had already been ruled out for the remainder of the season. It’s not clear whether he experienced a more recent change in conditions that precipitated the procedure or whether it was simply called for after his rehab efforts were halted.
Though he did not require Tommy John surgery, the Texas organization anticipates going without Bush for at least half of the 2019 season. It’s not certain just what was performed, though it could be that he received “primary repair” surgery.
Things had not gone well for Bush when he was on the mound this year. The 32-year-old posted a 4.70 ERA in his 23 innings, with just 7.4 K/9 against 5.5 BB/9, with declines in his fastball velocity and swinging-strike rate.
As for Bibens-Dirkx, he had helped the Rangers fill innings over the course of the season after re-signing on a minors deal in the winter. He was bumped from the rotation after an abysmal outing in mid-July but has been an occasional relief presence since that time. All told, Bibens-Dirkx carries a 6.20 ERA in 45 innings on the season, with 33 strikeouts against 14 walks.