For now Matt Bush remains on the Rays’ 40-man roster following his arrest on DUI, hit-and-run, and several other charges, but that may soon be changing.
Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said yesterday that Bush is “not going to play for us again” and indicated that the ongoing investigation might be the only thing keeping the Rays from simply releasing him immediately.
Bush, who was arrested Thursday while driving teammate Brandon Guyer’s car, remains in jail on a $1 million bond and the 72-year-old motorcyclist he hit is in critical condition with a breathing tube.
Bush’s problems with alcohol and self-control cost him a chance to make good on the Padres picking him No. 1 overall in 2004 and now they’re costing him a chance to complete what had been a fairly successful transition to pitching.
It’s only a matter of time before the Rays trade or, more likely, release him.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.