Results tagged ‘ Michael Bowden ’

Cubs bring up RHP Lim, DFA Bowden


(Photo by Rich Pilling/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Cubs brought up right-handed pitcher Chang-Yong Lim from Triple-A Iowa Wednesday morning.

To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed reliever Michael Bowden was designated for assignment.

The 37-year-old Lim signed a two-year deal this offseason while recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2012. At four levels this year, the righty had no record and posted a 1.61 ERA in 22.1 innings, including five starts. He fanned 24 batters and walked seven while limiting opponents to a .173 average.

The South Korea native pitched 17 seasons in Korea (1996-2007) and Japan (2008-12), and represented his country in the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Bowden was 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 34 appearances this year for the Cubs.

Pitcher Profile: Michael Bowden and Hector Rondon


(Photo by Stephen Green)

Other Pitching Profiles:

• RHP Edwin Jackson

• LHP Travis Wood

• RHP Scott Feldman

• RHP Jeff Samardzija

• RHP Carlos Villanueva

• LHP James Russell

• RHP Shawn Camp

• RHP Carlos Marmol

After several blown saves and countless squandered opportunities, it’s no secret that the Cubs bullpen has struggled to finish leads handed to them from the starters this season. In the first 20 games, the bullpen has recorded a 4.53 ERA. In comparison, the five starters boast a 2.97 ERA, which ranks third in MLB. With attention shifting to the late-game pitchers, the last of our pitching profiles highlight Michael Bowden and Hector Rondon, two young former prospects who earned a place in the 2013 ‘pen.

Drafted by the Red Sox in 2005, Michael Bowden stayed with the club until he was traded to the Cubs last April. The 26-year-old posted a 2.95 ERA last year, but has struggled this season, owning a 4.53 ERA in 10.1 IP this season. Though Bowden has shown some trouble on the mound, his current 1.16 WHIP is solid, even for a reliever, and the right-hander shows promise with mostly steady improvement since entering the majors.

Hector Rondon came to the Cubs via Cleveland as a Rule 5 Draft pick in December. Though injury issues and Tommy John surgery limited the 25-year-old’s appearances in the past, the Venezuelan native has proven to be a leader in the ‘pen since his April 3 debut. In 5.2 IP, Rondon has held his ERA to 1.59 with a 12.7 K/9. If recovery doesn’t interfere with his performance, Rondon could prove to be a major asset to Cubs relievers—especially after roster changes and injuries at the start of the season.

Bowden and Rondon are two of several pitchers profiled in Vine Line’s 2013 Pitching Preview, available in the April issue, on sale now.

2012 Stats: 39.2 IP, 19.4 K%, 9.7 UBB%, 1.24 WHIP, 2.95 ERA
Pitches: 4-Seam (92), Slider (83), Splitter (85)

Plan of Attack: Bowden, a Winfield, Ill., native and former top prospect, pitched effectively in 32 appearances between the Cubs and Red Sox last season. He is predominantly a fastball pitcher, but he can add or subtract a few mph when he needs it. He will also cut the pitch to get glove-side movement. His splitter is an effective weapon, but it was a take-or-whiff pitch last year. He uses his slider in all counts, particularly versus righties, and is an extreme fly ball pitcher, which could come into play when the wind is blowing out at Wrigley Field.

2012 Stats (AA/R): 7.0 IP, 9 K, 2 BB, 4 H, 1 ER
Pitches: Fastball (91), Cutter, Change (88), Slider (80)

Plan of Attack: Rondon is a former top prospect in the Indians system—he was their minor league pitcher of the year as recently as 2009—but he has had multiple elbow issues, including Tommy John surgery and a fractured elbow. He pitched well in Venezuela over the winter and has succeeded as high as Triple-A. Rondon has very good command of a four-pitch mix, including a fastball, cutter, change and short breaking ball. As a Rule 5 pick, he has to stay on the 25-man roster all season or be offered back to the Indians.

Winter League Highlights: Top Cubs performers

9/19/20 REDS @ CUBS

Cubs outfielder Dave Sappelt was one of the top performers in the Venezuelan league this winter (Photo by Stephen Green).

Winter league regional play finally came to a conclusion last night as Magallanes fended off Luis Valbuena and his Lara squad to win the Venezuelan title and claim the final spot in the Caribbean Series. The offseason leagues were an opportunity for players to rack up a few more innings of experience while still competing at a high level. Many of the Cubs took advantage of the opportunity, and some excelled in their respective leagues. Below is a list of Cubs representatives who fared well this winter.

Dominican League

Michael Bowden: Pitching for the Aguilas Cibaenas, Bowden posted a 2.76 ERA in 32.2 innings of work. He earned a 3-2 record and struck out 35 batters.

Alberto Cabrera: Playing for the Toros del Este, the Dominican native was used more frequently in the postseason. In 19.2 innings and four starts, Cabrera went 1-1 with a 0.92 ERA, fanning 15 batters and walking just six. He surrendered two earned runs in the playoffs.

Junior Lake: Representing the Estrellas de Oriente, Lake tore apart opposing pitchers, finishing with a line of .312/.382/.474 (AVG/OBP/SLG). The infielder was one of the Cubs’ top performers, hitting five homers, driving in 24 and stealing 11 bases in 154 at-bats.

Nelson Perez: A teammate of Lake’s in the Dominican, Perez was often utilized as a bat off the bench. In 84 at-bats, he compiled a .443 on-base percentage, drawing 29 walks and driving in 21. The Estrellas made the playoffs but were eliminated in the round robin portion.

Mexican League

Esmailin Caridad: The lone Cubs representative who will be participating in the Caribbean Series, Caridad was a solid bullpen arm this winter. In 42.0 innings during the regular season, the righty had a 2.57 ERA, struck out 49 and walked 12.

Jay Jackson: Jackson put up consistent numbers for the Venados de Mazatlan, posting a 3.86 ERA in 49.0 innings of work. The righty went 3-2 and struck out 34 batters over 10 starts.

Venezuelan League

Yoanner Negrin: In 12 starts for the Leones del Caracas, Negrin was tough to beat. Not a huge strikeout guy (38 K in 58.2 innings), the righty still managed a 2.61 ERA and a 4-1 record.

Dave Sappelt: Sappelt was another elite player this winter. In 116 at-bats, the outfielder put up a .336/.378/.526 line, belting five home runs and five doubles. He also stole five bases and drove in 15.

Luis Valbuena: One of the top performers in all the winter leagues, Valbuena powered his Cardenales de Lara side all the way to the Venezuelan championship. The Cardenales were eliminated last night, losing 11-9 in a back-and-forth Game 7 affair. During the regular season, the Cubs infielder hit .306/.414/.497 with 39 RBI in 183 at-bats. He also drew 34 walks. All of those totals were good enough for top 10 in the league. In the postseason, he hit .341 and drove in 21 in 91 at-bats.

Winter League Highlights: Sappelt just misses a cycle


After battling rain delays all last week, Dave Sappelt‘s Bravos de Margarita team in the Venezuelan league finally got back onto the field over the weekend. Apparently the layoff didn’t hurt the Cubs outfielder, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored, falling just a triple short of the cycle, as the Bravos beat the Tiburones 11-9 on Saturday. On Sunday, Sappelt went 2-for-4, raising his winter batting average to .274, in a 6-3 loss to the Cardenales de Lara.

In his first year in Chicago, Sappelt made a good case for a spot on the 2013 roster, hitting .275 with a .351 on-base percentage in 78 major league plate appearances.

Other highlights around the Caribbean:

Cubs reliever Michael Bowden continued to prove he might have a future as a starter in the Aguilas Cibaenas 14-1 win over Licey on Sunday in the Dominican. Bowden scattered five hits and surrendered only one earned run in seven innings. He walked two and struck out five. Bowden is now 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA in six Dominican league starts.

Junior Lake hit a three-run home run and scored twice for the first-place Estrellas in a 5-1 victory over Licey on Saturday. Arismendy Alcantara slugged a solo shot for the losing side in the same game. Lake is hitting .333 with four homers, 17 RBI and nine stolen bases on the winter.

Winter League Highlights: Bowden secures second victory

(Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs reliever Michael Bowden told Vine Line in August that he was excited about playing baseball this winter in the Dominican Republic.

“I love the opportunity of getting to go to new places and seeing what it’s like and learning a new culture, so I think it’s a great experience and I’m looking forward to it,” Bowden said. “And I get to play some ball.”

While Bowden will likely be coming out of the bullpen for either the Cubs or Triple-A Iowa in 2013, his Dominican squad—Aguilas Cibaenas—has made the 26-year-old a regular in their rotation. In five starts, the Winfield, Ill., native has posted a 2-2 record with a 3.92 ERA in 20.2 innings. And five of his nine earned runs allowed this winter came in one outing.

Bowden was clicking on Monday, as he went 5.1 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits. The effort was good enough to earn the righty a win in a 6-4 decision.

Other highlights around Caribbean:

Alberto Cabrera came on in relief for Toros del Este of the Dominican league. He pitched four innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out three.

Infielder Junior Lake finished the day 2-for-5 with a walk in a 7-5 loss for Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican league.

The leagues in Puerto Rico and Venezuela were off Monday.

From the Pages of Vine Line: Michael Bowden

When the Red Sox traded right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden to the Cubs as part of the Marlon Byrd deal, it was a dream come true for the Winfield, Ill., native, who grew up rooting for the team. In 36.2 innings with the Cubs, Bowden posted an impressive 2.95 ERA, and he looks poised to land a bullpen spot heading out of Spring Training in 2013. For the November issue of Vine Line, we talked to the 26-year-old reliever about coming to the Cubs, his relationship with Theo Epstein and his offbeat delivery. 

ONE-WAY TICKET  After I got designated from the Red Sox [in April], they said they were going to try to trade me, so I drove back [to Chicago]. I received some texts and read some rumors that they might be trying to deal Marlon Byrd, and I’m like, ‘No way, that’s too good to be true if that actually happens.’ I finally got the call [confirming the trade], and it was one of the highlights of my career. It was special. I was so happy to hear that and glad to come here and play for my hometown team—a team I grew up rooting for.

COMFORT FROM ABOVE  I’ve been with Theo [Epstein] all but a couple of months this past offseason, so he’s seen me every single year of my professional career. He knows the kind of person I am, the kind of player I am. He knows that I work hard, and I do everything I can to give it my all. It definitely gives me some confidence, him bringing me back over here, and I’m going to try to make the most of it.

QUIRKY APPROACH  I think [the odd delivery] helps. It throws off the hitters’ timing, and that’s helped me out a lot. But I’m not trying to be funky. I’m not trying to be deceptive. That’s just how I throw naturally. You should have seen me in high school. I’ve come a long way. The way I throw now, when I’m out there, I feel like I have very complete mechanics compared to what I had. A little bit of deceptiveness—I’ll take it. I’m sure it helps.

PLAYING YEAR-ROUND  I played in Venezuela two years ago. I love the opportunity and the excitement of going to new places and seeing what it’s like and learning a new culture. I think it’s a great experience, and I’m looking forward to it [this offseason]. And I get to play some ball.

To read the complete interview, pick up the November issue of Vine Line, available now at select Jewel-Osco, Walgreens, Meijer, Barnes & Noble and other Chicago-area retailers.

Cubs get reliever Bowden from Red Sox for Byrd

The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden and a player to be named from the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Marlon Byrd and cash considerations.

Bowden, 25, began the 2012 season on Boston’s Opening Day roster, posting no record and a 3.00 ERA (1 ER/3.0 IP) in two relief appearances before being designated for assignment on April 15. He has a 3.91 ERA (10 ER/23.0 IP) in 16 major league appearances since the start of the 2011 season. Bowden is a 2005 graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Ill.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-hander split the last three seasons between Boston and Triple-A Pawtucket, where he spent the majority of the 2011 season as Pawtucket’s closer. Bowden went 3-3 with 16 saves and a 2.73 ERA (16 ER/52.2 IP) in 41 relief outings in Triple-A last year, striking out 61 and walking only 18 in 52.2 innings. He converted 16-of-17 save chances and limited opponents to a .218 batting average (43-for-197).

Originally selected by the Red Sox in the supplemental round (47th overall) of the 2005 Draft, Bowden has pitched parts of the last five seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, going 2-2 with a 5.61 ERA (37 ER/59.1 IP) in 39 appearances, all but two in relief.

Byrd, 34, is batting .075 (3-for-43) with two RBI in 13 games with the Cubs this season, his third since signing a three-year contract with the club prior to the 2010 campaign. Byrd was named a National League All-Star in his first season with the Cubs, batting .293 (170-for-580) in 152 games in 2010. He hit .276 (123-for-446) in 119 games with the Cubs last year.