You Can Never Have Too Much Pitching. . .Or Can You?
After pitching 8 scoreless innings on Sunday, Michael Bowden has a 0.86 ERA after 7 starts.
And he’s probably 9th on the depth chart for Boston’s starting rotation.
Right now, the Red Sox rotation includes (1) Josh Beckett, (2) Jon Lester, (3) Tim Wakefield, (4) Brad Penny, and (5) Justin Masterson.
(6) Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a bullpen session at McCoy Stadium this morning and all signs point toward Dice-K returning to Boston this weekend to face the Mets (with Masterson going back to the bullpen).
(7) John Smoltz is expected to pitch 3 innings in an extended spring training game on Wednesday and said in a radio interview a few days ago that he thought he was two starts away from pitching for Pawtucket. He added that he hopes to join the Red Sox rotation in mid-June.
(8) 24-year-old Clay Buchholz is 2-0 with a 1.03 ERA after 6 starts and is holding International League hitters to a .130 batting average — the lowest opponent batting average for any qualifying pitcher in minor league baseball.
Which leads us to (9) Michael Bowden.
I worked Sunday’s game on TV with former Red Sox catcher and broadcaster Bob Montgomery who came away raving about Bowden
“He’s not a head-turner while you watch him work, but he’s impressive when you add it all up at the end of the game,” Montgomery said. “He doesn’t blow hitters away — you don’t say, ‘Wow, look at that’ — he simply gets the job done.”
Monty added that Bowden does not look like a 22-year-old kid in his first full year of Triple-A.
“He does a lot of things that take a long time for most pitchers to learn,” Montgomery said. “For example, he had a guy walk down the line at third base today and try to draw a balk and he just calmly stepped off the mound. He had a guy at first leave too early on a stolen base and he calmly stepped off the mound and made the throw. He does everything that you would like to see a veteran pitcher do, and he does it at a very early age.”
It’s quite a luxury for the Red Sox to have Buchholz and Bowden in Triple-A. Speculation is building that they’ll trade Brad Penny in June (they can do so without his permission after June 15) opening up a spot for either Smoltz or Buchholz.
At some point, there will be an injury or two giving somebody else a chance.
For now, we get to watch “The Thriller B’s” in action at McCoy Stadium.
Buchholz makes his next start on Tuesday at 12:05.
But first, Enrique Gonzalez goes for his team-leading 6th win on Monday at 7:05 as Pawtucket looks to take its third straight from Buffalo.
Kevin Youkilis will be the starting DH.
If you can’t make it to the park, we’ll have TV coverage on Cox Cable throughout Rhode Island or you can listen to the radio call on the PawSox radio network or PawSox.com.
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