Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Melvin Pumping Up Bush for a Possible Trade?

I've read in a number of places that Doug Melvin has hinted strongly that Dave Bush will be in the rotation this year unless he is a complete disaster in Spring Training.

A quote from Melvin in an Adam McCalvey story on the team website is about as strong an endorsement as you can get:

Leg up: Right-hander Dave Bush avoided arbitration this week by agreeing to a one-year contract, and two days later Melvin gave the strongest indication yet that Bush will win a spot in the starting rotation.

"I think he'd have to pitch awful [in Spring Training] to not be a part of the rotation," Melvin said on Thursday. "Take a look at Dave Bush vs. Joe Blanton's numbers over their career. Blanton has the wins and the ERA was better last year, but overall they're not far off."

Blanton is an Oakland A's right-hander and a hot name in the trade rumor mill. He has pitched 633 2/3 innings in 102 games in his career, making for a nearly even comparison with Bush, who has worked 630 1/3 innings and 108 games. Blanton has more wins (42 to 34), a better ERA (4.10 to 4.53) and has surrendered far fewer home runs (57 to 84). But Bush has more strikeouts (439 to 369) and fewer walks (136 to 167). Blanton has pitched slightly deeper into games, averaging 6.35 innings per start to Bush's 6.04 innings.

Although I'm not sure the Blanton comparison holds up (his ERA is almost 1/2 of a run better than Bush's and he pitches in the AL), what I find intriguing is what is Melvin trying to accomplish by bringing up Blanton's name as a comparison and saying that Bush is all but a lock for the Brewers rotation? Is he trying to drum up some trade interest for a team looking for a starter that doesn't end up getting Blanton?


1 comment:

Woz said...

Excellent piece. I find it very interesting how all winter 4 spots were locked down (based on whatever article you read) in the rotation by Sheets, Gallardo, Suppan, & Villa.

Now in McCalvy's latest piece on the Brewer website (and by what Matt just posted) all of a sudden Bush is automatically the 4 and Villa is one of the guys fighting for the 5 spot? WTF?

The only thing I can think of by making Villa the 5 is to limit his innings because the 5 spot gets skipped every other week or so. Lets not forget he only pitched 120 innings or so total between the minors and the show.

Wake me up when Melvin dishes one of the excess starters and then we'll talk.