Phil Rogers's post on Baseball | Latest updates on Sulia
Michael Bowden is stretching himself out in the Dominican Republic, possibly for a chance to win a job in the Cubs'
starting rotation. The right-hander from Waubonsie Valley High School was a supplemental first-round pick of the Red Sox out of high school, viewed as a starter, but like Justin Masterson was never really was given a shot to start for Boston. He pitched well out of Dale Sveum's bullpen last year after being acquired by the Cubs, compiling a 2.95 ERA and a .225 opponents' batting average over 39 2-3 innings, and seems in good shape to win a job as a long man next spring. But Bowden has worked five innings in each of his last two starts for Aguilas in the Dominican, where he's 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA over four starts. It certainly hasn't been a dull winter. His team, managed by Felix Fermin, has a middle of the order that includes Manny Ramirez, Miguel Tejada and Cardinals' prospect Oscar Taveras. He's had success as a starter with Triple-A Pawtucket but the Red Sox weren't convinced he could maintain it in Boston. Bowden's upside may be only as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter but it would be great for him to get a chance to see if he could be successful for a month or two in the rotation.