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Michael Bowden hoping to join Cubs’ rotation in 2013

Nov 24, 2012, 7:13 PM EDT

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Michael Bowden was drafted as a starter by the Red Sox back in 2005 and had success in that role for the first four years of his minor league career. And yet he’s made only two career starts at the major league level against 67 career relief appearances.

But that script could be flipped next summer.

According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, the 26-year-old right-hander is stretching himself out this offseason in the Dominican Winter League with the hope of getting a chance to compete for a spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation next spring. If the experiment doesn’t wind up producing promising results, he will simply be shifted into a long relief role sometime before Opening Day.

Bowden, who registered a 2.95 ERA and 1.26 WHIP across 39 2/3 relief innings in 2012, has gone at least five frames in each of his last two starts for Águilas Cibaeñas — a team that also boasts former major leaguers Manny Ramirez and Miguel Tejada, and top Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras.

  1. proudlycanadian - Nov 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    So Epstein is giving a player he originally drafted, a chance to contribute to the Cubs.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 24, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      Which does NOT mean he is not on the Red Sox’ radar.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 24, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Doesn’t he know that you can’t turn a reliever into a starter without destroying his arm, psyche and the entire team? It has been proven in Comments Sections all over the interweb.

  3. jhollin10 - Nov 24, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Ryan Dempster thats all i have to say.

  4. boyofzimmer - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Love it! Low risk, high reward… Seems to be Theo’s mantra.

  5. loweend56 - Nov 24, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    this maybe a back option for the simple fact McCarthy and Marcum is off the Cubs radar…we just have to wait until the non-tender deadline to see what arms become free agents

  6. lostsok - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    He’s got great stuff. If he can throw a lot of first-pitch strikes and get ahead in counts…thus keeping his pitch count reasonable…he could make it as a starter. The biggest problem he’ll have is games he hits 80+ pitches by the 5th inning.

    For the cost, though, it’s a worthwhile gamble for the Cubs.

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