Last November, David Bush came to Cape Cod to be inducted into the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame. Today, the former major league pitcher is preparing for another trip – he will soon be leaving for Korea, where he hopes to revive his sputtering pro baseball career.
The Philadelphia Phillies have granted their Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs pitcher’s request to opt out of his contract.
Bush starred for two summers at Chatham, where he also met his future wife, proposing to her at Veterans Field. They were married four years later at a church in Chatham.
In his first season with the A’s, the Wake Forest right-hander was a dominating reliever. He saved 11 games with a 0.84 ERA in 2000 and was even better in 2001, reducing his ERA to 0.34. In 40 innings over two summers, he struck out 63 batters while walking just 12 and yielding only 24 hits.
Bush was 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 11 starts at the top minor league level this spring and was pitching very well, having struck out 37 batters in 62.2 innings while walking just eight. There were even suggestions that he might be called up to the major league club when Roy Halladay went on the disabled list. As it turned out, Vance Worley’s return meant the Phillies didn’t need an extra pitcher, especially with Kyle Kendrick pitching surprisingly well.
Bush is a former major leaguer who finished eighth in the AL Rookie of the Year award voting as a Toronto Blue Jay in 2004, going 5-4 with a 3.69 ERA in 16 starts, walking just 2.3 batters per nine innings. He enjoyed his best season as a pro with the Brewers in 2006, going 12-11 with a 4.41 ERA and leading the National League with a 4.37 strikeout-to-walk ratio (he tied with Roy Oswalt, as both pitchers struck out 166 and walked 38).
Bush last pitched in the major leagues briefly in 2011, going 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 37.1 innings for the future American League champion Texas Rangers. He is 56-69 with a 4.40 ERA in his major league career and holds the dubious distinction of being just the third pitcher ever to have surrendered four consecutive home runs in a single game.