Bush Lit Up in Rehab Start; Will He Make July 20 Return?

Well that was ugly.

After a solid rehab start for the Single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Dave Bush got shelled in what was supposed to be his last rehab start, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits in just 3 innings of work.  Bush only threw 40 pitches, striking out 2 but also walking 2 while pitching for the AA Hunstville Stars.

Perhaps more troubling was the fact that Bush started off well, before imploding in his last inning.  Four of the 5 runs scored in the third.  Tom Haudricourt notes that only 19 of Bush’s 40 pitches were for strikes. 

The Brewers were hoping that this would be Bush’s last rehab start before rejoining the club on July 20th to make a start against the Pirates.  As TH notes, it’ll be interesting to see if the poor start changes the club’s plans a bit, giving Mike Burns another start.

I suppose if Mr. Burns is going make another spot start, the Pirates wouldn’t be a bad team to do it against.  Still, the Brewers need a healthy and effective Dave Bush if they’re going to push the Cardinals for the division title.  He needs to pitch more like he did down the stretch last year, when he was the only Brewers pitcher to get a win in the NLDS against Philadelphia.

Perhaps even more problematic is the effect this may have on Doug Melvin’s trade plans.  It seems likely that Melvin wanted to wait and see how the team played once Bush and Manny Parra returned to the rotation before deciding if he had to make a move for another starter before the trade deadline.  If Bush can’t make that July 20th start, there won’t be much time for Melvin to make that evaluation and piece together a trade.

Any ideas on what the Brewers should do with Bush?  Perhaps give him one more rehab start in Nashville?

UPDATE: TH broke the story around the same time I posted this that Bush will go see a doctor after feeling arm fatigue during his latest rehab start.  He (probably correctly) guesses that Bush will be unable to make the July 20 start against Pittsburgh. 

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