Michael Bowden has been moved to the PawSox bullpen. You don’t have to be Abner LaRussaday to figure out why.
The Boston bullpen has the worst ERA in the American League at 4.83 and the Red Sox have obviously decided that Bowden might be able to help. He’s expected to make his first relief appearance for Pawtucket on Wednesday night at Lehigh Valley and another at McCoy Stadium on Saturday or Sunday.
(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
“I’m actually extremely excited,” Bowden told me. “I got a little bit of work at the big league level in the bullpen last year and I became pretty comfortable with it. I got a routine down and it’s exciting going out there every day knowing that you have a chance to pitch. And anything that will help the Red Sox bullpen – whatever role I can play to help them – it’s definitely going to be a good opportunity.”
Bowden has been used exclusively as a starter this year for Pawtucket, going 4-3 with a 3.77 ERA in 16 starts. Since May 31st, he’s been one of the best pitchers in the International League posting a 1.83 ERA in his last 7 starts.
“I’m always a confident guy – even early in the year when I was doing badly – I continued to work as hard as I could and thought the success was going to come,” Bowden said. “It’s started to and I feel great going out there every time. I feel like I’m going to give this team an opportunity to win, and hopefully I can put together some quality innings in the bullpen and just keep us in ballgames.”
The 23-year-old righty was notified on Monday that he was moving to the PawSox pen.
“It came from above so obviously the front office and the organization would like to see me in the bullpen,” Bowden said. “Hopefully, like I said, there will be some good opportunities there.
“Everybody knows that they probably have the best rotation in the world. It’s tough to break into that rotation, so if this gets me to the big leagues to stay there then I’m excited about it.”
119 of Bowden’s 122 minor league outings have been as a starter, but he made 7 relief appearances for the Red Sox last year, beginning with 2 hitless and scoreless innings against the Yankees in a Sunday night game on April 29, 2009.
“Last year against the Yankees was the first time that I had ever pitched out of the bullpen,” Bowden told me. “It’s still something new to me. I felt like I adapted fairly quickly last year when I got the opportunity to go up there and pitch in relief. It was exciting – every time the phone rang your heart skipped a beat with the adrenaline rush. I really enjoyed my time in the bullpen last year so I’m excited about this move.”
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It’s official – Josh Beckett will make a rehab start at McCoy Stadium on Sunday as the PawSox host Syracuse at 1:05.
Beckett’s scheduled start for the GCL Red Sox was rained out on Tuesday, so he threw a 64-pitch simulated game at Tropicana Field instead.
“I’m ready to get back to pitching here – that’s the goal,” Beckett told reporters. “I felt like I had good stuff today, and that’s kind of what we’re trying to get to. Repeating the delivery is definitely something we’ve been working on. We’re going to push this thing until we can do that.”
Sunday’s start for the PawSox will be Beckett’s first minor league outing since 2003 when he made one start for Single-A Jupiter and one start for Double-A Carolina.
Looking for a good omen?
Later that summer he was named the MVP of the Marlins’ World Series victory over the Yankees.
Plenty of great seats are still available for Sunday’s game at McCoy. Just go to pawsox.com or call the ticket office at 401-724-7300.
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