Bowden optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket

July, 23, 2010
SEATTLE -- The Boston Red Sox have optioned pitcher Michael Bowden to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room on the roster for starter Josh Beckett.

Bowden remained with the club here on Friday and will rejoin the PawSox in Columbus on Saturday. He was recalled from Pawtucket last Sunday and made three relief appearances for the Sox.

He worked a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts against the Texas Rangers last Sunday at Fenway Park and saw action in back-to-back games in Oakland earlier this week. On Tuesday, he entered the game with two outs and two runners on and surrendered the game-winning hit to the Athletics’ Kevin Kouzmanoff. On Wednesday, he threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings and stranded two inherited runners in the process.

“I’m disappointed, but I have a feeling I’ll be back sooner rather than later,” Bowden said. “I’ll do everything I can down there to get back here.”

After his three relief appearances for the Red Sox during his recent stint, Bowden believes he’s more comfortable and relaxed in his new role. Now, he says, it’s just a matter of getting more opportunities before he’s completely at ease as a reliever.

“I think I’ll be successful if I continue to do what I have been doing,” he said. “I’ll continue to do that [in Pawtucket] and I’ll get another opportunity.”

During his brief stint, Bowden has been watching, studying and soaking in all the information he could from the other relievers on the staff, and he says it’s been a valuable learning experience.

The Red Sox decided the pitching prospect would be better suited for the bullpen rather than as a starter at this point, and Bowden’s bulldog mentality on the mound fits the role.

“I like it a lot,” he said. “I like it very much.”

The biggest transition for the 23-year-old right-hander from the rotation to the bullpen has been having to harness his adrenaline on a daily basis.

“Of course there’s a little more excitement and adrenaline and it’s about learning how to pitch like that,” he said. “The situations are a little more important. With a few more appearances and repetitions, I was starting to calm my nerves a little bit and I was able to pitch my game. I just need a few more outings and I’ll be comfortable out there. It’s just a matter of time.”

Red Sox manager Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell said they were impressed with what they saw from Bowden.

“His breaking ball is much better and we didn’t want to send him back when we called him up,” Francona said. “But we’re not allowed to play with 26 players. Hopefully this will keep him on somewhat of a schedule. You can see by the way we used him, we certainly weren’t afraid to use him. He’s always been a mature kid, but as far as innings pitched, it looks like he’s ready to start helping us, which is good.”

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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