Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Matt Bush called up by the Rangers

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The Rangers are calling up Matt Bush.

Twelve years ago, Bush was drafted No. 1 overall by the San Diego Padres. Then his life spun out of control. He ended up serving three years in prison for running a man down while driving drunk. It was the last of a series of alcohol-related incidents which all but ended Bush’s baseball career before his final accident ultimately did. He was released last fall and signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, subject to serious oversight, including the requirement that his father live with him.

Bush is now 30. He’s also now a reliever. In the early going this season Bush has recorded five saves, 18 strikeouts and four walks in 17 innings with Double-A Frisco. The Rangers obviously feel that his stuff — which was clocked at 95 m.p.h. last fall despite him being out of baseball since 2011 — is good enough to handle the majors. They apparently feel that Bush the person is able to handle it too.

Here’s hoping.

Rangers sign Kyle Lohse to a minor league deal

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The Texas Rangers have signed Kyle Lohse to a minor league contract. Lohse will make $2 million with $1.5 million more available in incentives if he makes it to the majors.

Lohse, 37, may be on his last hurrah. He’s coming off a season where he posted a 5.85 ERA over 37 games with a 108/43 K/BB ratio over 152 1/3 innings for the Brewers, 22 of which came as a starter.

He has started a season late before and he was effective in the years just prior to last season’s disappointing campaign, so it’s a pretty low risk move for Texas which could pay some decent dividends.

Michael Brantley’s shoulder is giving him problems again

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Potentially bad news in Cleveland. Michael Brantley is dealing with fatigue in his surgically-repaired right shoulder.

Brantley didn’t start Tuesday or Wednesday (the Tribe had yesterday off) and he’s finding that the more he plays the worse his shoulder is holding up. This occurred during spring training as well so it may just be a chronic thing he battles all year and for which he’ll simply need more days off. It’s being portrayed as good news by the Indians inasmuch as he says he’s feeling better with the rest.

Still, the production is lacking thus far. He’s batting only .231/.279/.282 with no homers in 43 plate appearances this season. Worth watching.