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Released by the Phillies, John Bowker heads to Japan

Jan 11, 2012, 12:19 PM EDT

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Philadelphia released John Bowker so that he could sign a deal to play in Japan, putting an end to (or at least putting on hold) a big-league career that just never really got going.

Bowker was the Giants’ third-round pick in 2004 and always put up strong numbers in the minors, hitting .307 with an .886 OPS in 139 games at Double-A and .314 with a .922 OPS in 311 games at Triple-A.

His only real extended chance in the majors came in 2008 and he fared decently for a 24-year-old rookie, hitting .255 with a .708 OPS in 111 games, but since then Bowker has totaled just 272 plate appearances in the majors while hitting .202. He probably deserved more of an opportunity at some point, but Bowker will likely make more money in Japan than he would have as a role player in America anyway.

  1. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    No loss here. This guy sucked. He was a strikeout machine in the plate appearances he had with the Phillies last year. He never saw a pitch that he didn’t like.

  2. rexadelphia8 - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Thank god he sucked

    • paul621 - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      I agree! I am so thankful that he sucked! I honestly don’t know what I would have done if he didn’t suck. Praise Jebus!

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Best of luck, John.

  4. sisqsage - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Bowker will always be known as the guy that helped the Giants trade for the lefty Lopez, a great situational reliever that was key to the WS title run in 2010. Bowker had a great swing but couldn’t put everything together to be a consistent major leaguer. Always seemed too nervous up there. He had his chances, especially when the G-Men were dying for some offense (still are). That was a great trade though: Lopez will help us for years, while Bowker eats sushi.

  5. camilog75 - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Bowker will establish his confidence in himself as a solid baseball player this year in Japan. This opportunity will only create more opportunities.

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