When the Red Sox optioned Bowden back to Triple-A 10 days ago, the club left open the possibility that he would return to possibly provide some bullpen depth late in the season.
But after further discussing the issue, it was decided that it would be best for Bowden's season to be over once Triple-A Pawtucket was knocked out of the playoffs on Sunday.
"We talked to Michael today," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "His pitching is going to be done for the year. And again, that's more [general manager] Theo [Epstein] and player development putting their heads together. Certainly, we were in on the meeting. I think he's had a pretty good year. It's time to congratulate him, let him go about his winter of continuing to get stronger and develop, things like that. He had a heck of a year. But I think everyone involved felt that was enough.
"[If] we started asking him to do some things out of the bullpen, maybe more starts, we'd start to get into an area we didn't need to."
As for Clay Buchholz, who was roughed up during his two stints in the Boston rotation this year, his season also appears to be over.
While the club spoke at length with Bowden about his offseason program, there are still logistics to be worked out with Buchholz, who couldn't duplicate the success he had in 2007.
"That's a little bit more up in the air how his winter is going to progress. We talked to him for probably a half hour," Francona said. "We'll continue to talk to him over the next couple of days on just how we want to progress with the rest of his winter -- fall and winter."
The one pitcher who will be added to the roster is veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon, who last pitched for the Red Sox on June 16, when he injured his back taking a swing against the Phillies. Colon turned in 7 1/3 strong innings for Pawtucket on Sunday and is tentatively scheduled to pitch one of the games in Saturday's doubleheader against the Blue Jays.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.