Bowden recalled, to pitch out of bullpen

Bowden recalled, to pitch out of bullpen

BOSTON -- Before Sunday's game against the Rangers, manager Terry Francona added another arm to the Red Sox's bullpen, bringing up reliever Michael Bowden.

Bowden was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket when Boston designated catcher Gustavo Molina.

Excited by his young and durable arm, the Sox have recently converted Bowden into a reliever. Beginning the year as a starter at Pawtucket, the righty has pitched as a reliever in his last four games. During that stretch, he has tossed six innings, giving up no earned runs and one hit, while striking out five.

"It sounds like he has taken to it really well and is excited," Francona said. "His breaking ball is what has been great and that has been coming anyway. In the reliever role, he has been down with his fastball and his slider has been really good."

"We are looking forward to this. This is a kid that has been on the radar for the last couple of years, and he has had spot starts and had a chance to make to team in Spring Training out of the bullpen, and it didn't happen."

While Bowden has not been told specifically what his role will be, he is excited just to have a chance to pitch out of the bullpen, believing it is his best chance to play with the Red Sox.

The biggest adjustments Bowden said since becoming a reliever have been the little things, like understanding his body and how long it takes to warm up and what type of situational adjustments he has to make for specific hitters.

"Every time the phone rings, your heart skips a beat," Bowden said. "It is an instant adrenaline rush, where in starting it is five days to prepare and you have pressure to prepare, where relieving, you come to the park every day thinking you could pitch."

When Bowden competed for a spot in the bullpen during Spring Training and didn't make the club, Francona knew he was disappointed, but told him that if he could pitch well, things will work out.

"We really enjoy having a home grown guy come up. Sometimes I think that is misrepresented because we are supposed to win and have a high payroll," Francona said. "I think we like when our kids come through and help us. We know what to expect out of them as people and know they know what is expected of them."