ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Speaking on phone from Allentown, Penn., Michael Bowden said he is looking forward to the move to the bullpen with the Pawtucket Red Sox and sees it as his best chance to help the major league club down the road. Bowden was informed Tuesday that he will be going to the bullpen after turning a 2.35 ERA in five June starts, along with an outing in which he allowed just one hit and a run in 7 2/3 innings on July 2.
“The plan as far as I know is that I’m going to the bullpen. They haven’t given me any details about it and I haven’t wanted any details. Torey and Rich called me in the office and said they’re moving me to the bullpen, that I’m live tonight and that we’ll go from there. I was fully acceptive of it and I’m actually excited,” said Bowden via phone from Allentown, Penn. where the PawSox are playing the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
“I’m looking at it as if the Red Sox want me in the big leagues to help the team the best chance of me playing a role is in the bullpen. As everybody knows the rotation is one of the best in the world and it’s set for a while. I’ll be the first to tell you it’s tough to break into a rotation like that. Yeah, I definitely think I’ll have more of an opportunity in the bullpen and help the big league club win.”
The 23-year-old Bowden figures to make a few appearances in relief before the All-Star break, eventually getting into more high-pressure relief situations later in the month. He made seven appearances out of the bullpen for the Red Sox last season after having never pitched in relief throughout his baseball-playing career.
“I personally believe I did pretty well other than that catastrophe,” Bowden said. “When I got up there in September I think I was up for 10 or 11 days before I even got into a game. Those 10 or 11 days were the most beneficial days I had in terms of making the adjustment to the bullpen. Just talking to Manny Delcarmen, Billy Wagner, and the other guys who are up there, they helped me out a lot, helping me out with routine. I was picking their brain and asking questions.
“Even though I didn’t pitch for those 11 days I didn’t know I wasn’t going to pitch so every day I had to prepare and work on my routine like I was going to pitch because I didn’t know. I think that really helped me. And when they did call on me I was 100 percent ready and comfortable and ready to throw. That month up there is going to help me a lot in terms of the adjustment and the position change goes.”
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