Bowden is ready for anything

August, 14, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas -- When the Red Sox optioned right-handed reliever Michael Bowden to Triple-A Pawtucket on July 23, manager Terry Francona said he would have preferred to keep the pitching prospect in Boston’s bullpen.

Unfortunately, Bowden was a victim of the numbers game then and he was the odd-man out. But since Francona needed to blow out his bullpen in a 10-9 loss to the Texas Rangers in 11 innings on Friday -- and with Jacoby Ellsbury placed on the DL again Saturday due to reinjuring his ribs against the Rangers -- Bowden was recalled.

Bowden, 23, received a phone call from PawSox manager Torey Lovullo around 1:30 on Saturday morning, informing him of his second promotion to Boston this season.

“It was a long night, but I’m glad to be here,” said Bowden, who flew to Texas on Saturday.

Since the Red Sox organization decided to convert Bowden into a reliever, he’s 2-0 with one save and a 2.81 ERA in 12 relief appearances for the PawSox.

“A few outings, I didn’t get the results I wanted, but I’ve been throwing the ball really well,” Bowden said. “I feel great. I feel strong.”

During his first stint with the Red Sox this season, Bowden worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief and allowed three hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

It gave Bowden a confidence boost to hear that Francona did not want to send him down to the minors at the end of last month.

“It’s very encouraging, especially coming from Tito, knowing he has confidence in me to come up here and help the ballclub win,” Bowden said.

A native of Illinois, this is Bowden’s first trip to Texas. He said it should be interesting sitting in the bullpen the next couple of days in the 100-degree heat.

Because Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard won’t be available to pitch tonight, it’s a safe bet Bowden will be in the game unless starter Jon Lester mixes in a complete game.

“I’m ready to do whatever they want me to do,” Bowden said.

The Red Sox will carry 13 pitchers on their roster until second baseman Dustin Pedroia is activated on Tuesday.

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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