Bush finds a new pitch in rehab

Matt Bush underwent Tommy John surgery and hopes to be back to normal this spring. He has taken the time off to take a different look at things while finding a pitch he hasn't had success with since he was a sophomore in high school.

What are you feeling and what do you expect each time you take the mound?

Matt Bush: I feel good. What I expect is to just go out there and not have any pain or discomfort. It feels like that is all going away. It is getting closer to having that all go away. The triceps bugged me for a while – working through the scar tissue.

I am trying to throw strikes and get a feel for each pitch and remember how my curveball breaks. It is a little tough. I keep throwing it down the middle and it keeps breaking way too far outside. I forgot how it actually moves.

Is there an anxious feeling because you want to go out and do well but in the back of your mind there is a warning light to take it easy.

Matt Bush: I have always been the type to go out and let it fly. It is probably part of the reason that I did have the surgery. I am just trying to take it a little easier – which is so hard to do. It is a good learning experience for me to take care of the arm and learn how to keep it in shape, doing exercises.

What has the maturation process been like for you through this injury. You can almost get a deeper appreciation for the game when you are on the sidelines.

Matt Bush: The time away makes me feel like I want to prepare myself a lot better. Now I know it could end in just one day. My goal is to do the best I can – prepare myself and hope everything works out while also understanding things can fall apart if I don't take care of everything.

Spring Training – is that something you look forward to put all this behind you and get into the rhythm?

Matt Bush: I can't wait for spring. It is a little tough because I was getting ready to go and it was the off-season. I wanted spring to come a lot faster – but it will likely be a slow process. I still have a lot of work to do. I have to keep throwing in the off-season and do my weightlifting.

Is it hard to believe that you have been around the professional game for five years now?

Matt Bush: Time goes by so fast, especially this year. It feels like it was yesterday when I got drafted. A lot of time has gone by and I have been through a lot. I understand things a lot better now and am making better decisions. I am trying to do the right thing and get myself ready, instead of thinking everything will be fine. I am working harder now.

How much did you talk to guys like Cesar Carrillo and Nick Schmidt to get a better understanding of what to feel and what is normal?

Matt Bush: All the time – talking to Cesar and asking him questions. Anyone who had the surgery – the trainers – Nick and how he feels. Seeing exactly if something I have is normal or not. I tried to understand the whole surgery and the process.

What will the rest of this off-season be like? I imagine you don't want to over do it but still want to be in shape and ready to go.

Matt Bush: I am going to keep working hard. That is all I can do. I will keep throwing and have a lot more to do with my arm. There is more strengthening to be done. I have to eat healthy and do everything the Padres are telling me to do.

When I saw you throw, the changeup looked better than it ever had previously.

Matt Bush: I lost that pitch every since 10th grade in high school. This process of messing around with the grip multiple times really helped me. I finally found it. There is still more learning to do with that pitch because it is still pretty new to me. That is great, though. I feel like I don't have to throw as hard. I don't have to blow it out. I can throw that pitch and it makes my fastball look even faster.

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