Notes: Bush sent back to Triple-A

Notes: Bush sent back to Triple-A

TORONTO -- Consider it a question asked and answered.

Dave Bush's early-season struggles finally reached their breaking point on Sunday, when the Blue Jays decided to demote their second-year starter. The 25-year-old had gone 10 starts without a win, and Toronto manager John Gibbons said the decision was based solely on his mound work.

"You asked that question yesterday and you got your answer. Leave it at that," Gibbons said on Sunday morning. "We talked about it after the game and I said, 'You know what? It's better to get him down there.'"

Chad Gaudin will take Bush's spot on the roster and in the rotation, replacing one young arm with an even younger one. The 22-year-old was thriving for Syracuse, notching a 3-2 record with a 2.48 ERA in 10 starts. He has previous Major League experience with Tampa Bay, but he was mainly used as a relief pitcher.

Bush, meanwhile, was losing his grip as the season wore on. The right-hander struggled to pitch deep in games on several occasions, but his inability to point his team toward a win was more telling. The Blue Jays were just 2-8 in Bush's 10 starts, and he had more than twice as many no-decisions (five) as anyone else on the starting staff.

"Based on the way we've been doing when I've been pitching, I can't be entirely surprised," he said. "I'm 0-5 myself, and even in some of the games I've gotten no-decisions, we haven't won either. For a team that's doing well, we need to get more wins out of that spot in the rotation."

In truth, it hasn't been all bad. Bush was tied with Josh Towers for the staff low in run support (4.8 runs a game), but he also has twice as many quality starts (four) as Ted Lilly. He's pitched eight innings on two occasions and seven innings on two others, but he was too erratic overall to ignore.

Bush acknowledged that on Sunday morning in his brief interaction with the local media.

"I just need to be more consistent, in general," he said. "There were a few starts where I felt like I threw the ball well, and there were a handful of starts where I didn't make it out of the second or the fourth. At this level, you really can't have that inconsistency. It doesn't help the bullpen and it doesn't help the team in general."

Dust-up: Both Bush and Gibbons insisted that there was no carryover from Saturday night, when the two appeared to have an on-field argument. Bush apparently said something to his manager as he left the mound, and the conversation continued when they got into the dugout.

"We can deal with that. That didn't factor into why he's going down," said Gibbons. "He's had some good outings hidden in there, but he's gotta go down there. I think he needs a change of scenery right now. Let him get his pitching together."

"It's a guy who cares," said J.P. Ricciardi, Toronto's general manager. "He said what he said and Gibby straightened him out after. I think it's frustration on his part a little bit. A little bit of youth. That doesn't bother me."

Gibbons said there was no change of heart between Saturday night and Sunday morning. He said the discussions were already in place about the roster move, but nothing had been finalized yet.

"We've been talking about it," he said. "He's still a big part of the future here. He's a young kid and he's had some success here. It hasn't gone his way this year."

Options: Gaudin joined the team during the offseason in exchange for Kevin Cash, Toronto's former backup catcher. He'll move right into the rotation and save the Jays from completely restructuring their staff.

"He's pitched really well in Triple-A and he deserves to be up here," said Ricciardi. "Out of all the guys down there, he's the one who's most ready."

He may have also been better than a few guys on staff. The Jays could've slotted Bush into the bullpen and let him work out his problems there, which would spring Scott Downs or Pete Walker into the starting staff. There were compelling reasons to try that and obvious reasons to ignore it altogether.

"They're not the same guys the third of fourth time through the lineup," Ricciardi said of Walker and Downs. "If we take them out of that role, we're lessening ourselves in two roles."

"That's up to them. They're not going to put me in the bullpen if they don't think I can be effective there either," said Bush. "They think the best thing for me is to go down to Syracuse and start. And that's obviously what they decided to do."

Quotable: "As far as confidence in myself and what I do, I don't think that's fallen at all. It's the same place it always has been. It doesn't show up in the paper that way, but even yesterday, I felt like I was throwing the ball well." -- Bush, taking the bad news in stride

On deck: The Blue Jays leave town for a 14-day, 13-game road trip starting Monday. The first destination is Seattle, where Lilly will be matched up against Jamie Moyer in Monday's series opener.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.