Bowden Is Back

I think we can safely say that Michael Bowden is back.

 


Bowden tight.jpg 

(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)

 

On Sunday, the 23-year-old righty pitched his third straight quality start, allowing 1 run on 4 hits in 6 IP in an 8-1 win at Syracuse.

 

On the last day of May, Bowden was 1-2 with a 5.83 ERA, but in his six starts since, Michael is 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA (8 ER in 36.2 IP).

 

“We’re very comfortable when he’s in the ballgame,” manager Torey Lovullo told me.  “At the start of spring training, he had a little bit of a bumpy road to get to this point, but the bottom line is that he’s throwing the ball very well right now.  He’s giving himself a chance to compete and ultimately get back to the big leagues.  I was very aware of Michael Bowden from managing against him for the past few years and I liked what I saw because he attacks the zone.  He had to play catch-up because of a small injury in spring training, and it was frustrating for him and he started battling some issues here and there, but he’s thrown the ball very well over the last five or six games, and we’re looking for that to continue.”

 

Bowden’s next start is schedule for Friday at McCoy Stadium against Scranton/WB.  He’ll enter that game with a streak of 14.2 consecutive scoreless innings at home.

 

* * * * *

 

Michael Bowden was not the only standout on Sunday as cleanup hitter Ryan Shealy went 3-for-4 with a single, double, home run, and 4 RBI.

 


Shealy.jpg 

(photo courtesy of Louriann Mardo-Zayat)

 

Shealy and I have something in common – we both attended colleges that feature blue and orange as their uniform colors:  I’m a Syracuse grad while Shealy is a former University of Florida Gator.

 

But unlike Shealy, I do not have a gigantic display of school pride in my home.

 

“I have a 6-foot bronzed alligator that my sister got for me as a college graduation present,” Shealy told me with a laugh.  “He’s huge – it’s a real alligator that had been bronzed and it is in my living room.  I call him ‘Tater’ and that’s probably one of my favorite things.”

 

So how much does a bronzed alligator weigh?

 

“I don’t even know – it took three of us to move it,” Shealy said.

 

* * * * *

 

Torey Lovullo shared some interesting insight into evaluating pitching prospects while discussing 25-year-old Robert Coello.

 


Coello tight.jpg 

(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)

 

The PawSox manager says that Coello has something that scouts look for – the ability to throw a fastball in a fastball count and still get a swing and a miss.

 

“I didn’t know anything about Robert Coello when he got to this level except for a phone call that (Director of Player Development) Mike Hazen made to me saying that he has the highest percentage of swings and misses on fastballs in the organization,” Lovullo said.  “There’s a lot to be said for that.  His fastball is downhill and watching from my perspective, he has a big league arm.  Guys can be zoning up his pitch and they’re still not putting a good swing on it – in fact they swing and miss, and that doesn’t happen very often in baseball.”

 

* * * * *

 

Interesting weekend for the Red Sox huh?

 

Dustin Pedroia breaks his foot . . . Clay Buchholz hyperextends his knee . . . and Victor Martinez breaks his thumb.

 

The news wasn’t great for the PawSox either as Bubba Bell got hit by a pitch on the right shin on Saturday and had to leave the game.  He rolled-up his pant leg on the bus ride to the stadium on Sunday to reveal a nasty-looking bruise in the exact size and shape of a baseball.

 


Bell.jpg 

(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)

 

The timing was awful because Bubba is swinging a white-hot bat.  The 27-year-old outfielder has a 7-game hitting streak, going 14-for-23 (.609) with 3 2B, 2 HR, and 8 RBI.  In his last 15 games, Bell is 21-for-45 (.467) with 4 2B, 3B, 3 HR, and 10 RBI. 

 

“He’s a tough kid and he’ll be back in there in a couple of days,” Torey Lovullo said.  “He was x-rayed and there are no issues in terms of breaks or fractures and that was a very good sign.  Injuries are part of baseball and they happen every single year.  The Boston Red Sox have gone through a disastrous stage and they’re managing to win ballgames.  We’re looking to do that too.” 

 

* * * * *

 

As I’ve mentioned before, the PawSox have two huge soccer fans that have been completely obsessed with the World Cup in Lars Anderson and Ryan Kalish.

 

But on Saturday when several players gathered around the big screen TV in the clubhouse to watch the match between the US and Ghana, no one was getting more excited than pitcher Chad Paronto.

 


Paronto.jpg 

(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)

 

In Chad’s case it was a matter of patriotism.

 

“I hate soccer,” Paronto told me, “but I love America.”

 

* * * * *

 

The PawSox conclude their 8-game road trip on Monday night as they face Syracuse at 7:00.  I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.

 

I’d love to hear from you.  Please take a moment to tell me who you are and where you’re from in the comments section or you can e-mail me at dhoard@pawsox.com.

 

And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard

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