SEATTLE -- Clayton Mortensen's year of ping-ponging back and forth from the Red Sox to the Minors took another bizarre twist on Tuesday when he joined the big club in Seattle.
Not only is it his sixth callup to the Majors this season, it extended what has been a run of cross-country travel. This past week, the right-hander has gone from Boston to Los Angeles to New Hampshire to Portland, Maine to Seattle. In two days, he will head back to Boston with his Red Sox teammates to complete a whirlwind nine days.
Despite a season, and especially a week, of making an all-too-familiar trip from the Majors to the Minors -- he also pitched in a game at the Double-A level on Friday -- Mortensen said he's not letting it affect his mindset.
"The only time it would get difficult is if you let it get difficult," he said. "I knew going in this year that I was going to be a swing guy. I didn't know how many times I was going to be -- I believe I'm on number six right now -- but you can't let it get to you. If you let it affect the way you work and get after it, boy, you're sent down and when you come back up, you'll be unprepared.
Mortensen is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 19 appearances out of the bullpen with the Red Sox this season. He has struck out 26 and walked 12 in 32 innings.
"Really never wanted him to leave," manager Bobby Valentine said. "Lot of things happened, it was a necessity for him to leave each time. I think the team kind of went south afterward, it seems, so hopefully we'll start heading north now that he's back."
Mortensen said he will take on what the team asks him to do, whether it be out of the bullpen or starting. And hopefully, that will translate into him being a part of Boston's future.
"I'd hope I've shown them I'm a hard worker. I'm a hard worker and I'm a competitor," he said. "I come out and I give 110 [percent] every time I take the mound. I hope they can see I'm a valuable asset. I don't know what they have in mind for going into next year, but hopefully I can be a piece of the puzzle next year. Hopefully, I've shown I'm capable of that."