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The Brewer Advent Calendar #11: Dave Bush

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Hiding behind today’s door we find starting rotation hopeful Dave Bush!

I know there are many of us here that would DFA Jeff Suppan before letting him get anywhere near the starting rotation. Unfortunately, many feel the same way about Dave Bush, and unfortunately, Bush is also in a battle between himself and Suppan’s $12 million salary for the final spot in the starting rotation. While Bush has been one of our more frustrating pitchers to watch, alternating between a good mid-rotation starter and just God-awful, he certainly is no Jeff Suppan. Infact, he has been pretty useful over they years.

Before the front office looks at quantity of contract over quality of pitching to decide the final spot in the rotation, perhaps they should look at Bush’s previous work. His numbers may look bad last year, but before getting hit by Hanley Ramirez in May of last year, Bush was holding opposing batters to a .229 batting average; afterwards a .336 BA. He also suffered from a bit of bad luck with a high BABIP of .327. In 27 games (25 starts) after his trip to the minors in 2008, Bush was able to hold batters to a .225 BA while sporting a 3.83 ERA, becoming one of our most reliable starters down the stretch. Over his career, Bush has a respectable 1.26 WHIP and has been durable, pitching at least 185 innings in all but one of his Brewer years.

Dave Bush also belongs in a very exclusive club in Brewers history; its only members are Bush, Mike Caldwell, Rollie Fingers, Moose Haas, Bob McClure, Jim Slaton, Don Sutton, and Pete Vuckovich. Give up? Bush is one of the select few Brewers to actually win a post-season game. If not for Bush, we would be hearing about how the Brewers haven’t won a post-season game in 20+ years.

Of course having Bush on the roster also comes with several questions Who will he pitch his next near no-no against? Will he go with the fu-Manchu or the Grizzly Adams beard? Just how many batters will he plunk? I for one hope we will get to find out.