Matt Bush ready for California

Peoria, AZ-- Shortstop Matt Bush hasn't lived up to the hype but sees progress on the horizon in the California League. By his estimation, going back to Fort Wayne wouldn't have done him any good. This is the year he hopes to call himself a San Diego Padres prospect and not because of the way he pitches.

Would it have been blow to you had you gone back to Fort Wayne this year?

Matt Bush: Yeah, kind of. I feel like I am a way ahead of Low-A now. Once I went back there last year I was a lot more ahead of the game than I felt I was my first year.

You suffered through some injuries last year and even during the Instructional League. What was the off-season like to get you back into playing shape and back to where you can stay on the field for 140 games.

Matt Bush: Focused on getting a little bit bigger, lifting weights, and eating more. I am just trying to get ready. I had some bad injuries last year and had to spend some extra time on my legs and getting those stronger. At the same time, I did a lot of upper-body work to stay strong and make it through the season.

When you look back at lost year do you feel like you lost a year of developmental time and are now behind the curve?

Matt Bush: A little bit. I lost a year – I didn't get to see a lot of pitching and lost a lot of AB's. A little bit it was. It is OK because I am still young and I still have a little ways to go. There is no real rush really.

When you came back from the leg injury did you feel confident up at bat or did it take you a while to get back to a comfort level? And what did you lose from the year?

Matt Bush: Not really. When I came back I was feeling really good. I was seeing the ball well and hitting well. My defense was good. I felt like I didn't really take much of a step back. I just didn't really get to play as much so I lost a little bit of experience. Learning how the pitchers are working a little bit – I have to take it day-by-day this year and hopefully this year will be my breakout year. I worked real hard in the off-season so my confidence is up and I am going to give it my best shot.

And you came in about ten pounds heavier than last season?

Matt Bush: I was probably about 175 last year and I am up at 185-186 right now. I feel real good.

So, what has spring training been like and what are you taking into the season?

Matt Bush: I want to take it day-by-day, focus hard on my at bats, have good AB's, watching the pitchers and do what I did to get myself here. That's all.

What have you learned about full-season ball from 2005 when you got to experience it without injury?

Matt Bush: A long season. You have to stay mentally focused. It gets pretty mental as you get around the second half, especially if you are struggling a little bit. You might give a lot of at bats away. It is a real long season.

Have you been distracted by the talk of you possibly going to the mound if things don't work out for you in the field and at bat?

Matt Bush: I talked to Kevin Towers who came up and said that is all fake – nothing real. That is just people talking who are not in the organization. It doesn't really matter.

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