Bowden is a big [6-3, 220] righty starter with a top-of-the-rotation ceiling, but likely projects as a solid third starter at the major league level. He is an advanced pitcher for his age, but still has some room for improvement. He has an arsenal of three pitches that could be big-league caliber: a 93-94 mph four-seam fastball which tops out around 95 mph, a very good 12-6 hard breaking curve, and a developing circle changeup with plus potential. His main pitch, the four-seamer, has a late, heavy sinking movement, and he generally keeps it down in the zone. ... His mid-70s curve is pretty sharp and he keeps hitters at bay with it. However, he can telegraph his curve on occasion. Secondary stuff is really coming along in 2008. Overall, Bowden has an excellent command of the zone. ... Delivery is somewhat unconventional, almost 3/4 style, with a leaning motion while dropping his head a bit -- but he's able to maintain it throughout his outings, so the Sox won't mess with it.Bowden began the season in Portland (AA), where he made 19 starts. In 104.1 innings, he allowed only 72 hits and 24 walks, while striking out 101. His ERA was 2.33. Opposing batters hit .196.
He was promoted to Pawtucket in mid-July. In seven AAA games (six starts), he has allowed 40 hits in 40 innings. He has kept his command, walking only five and fanning 29. He has a 3.38 ERA, and opponents are batting .261. In three of his last four starts for the PawSox, he has pitched six innings and allowed only one run.
This move seems no more of a crapshoot than throwing David Pauley out there. Why not let Bowden get his feet wet? With rosters expanding two days later, he'll stay with the big club through the rest of the season. Sox Prospects has his Boston ETA as mid-2009, but the 2010 rotation seems like a safer bet.
Here is David Laurila's May 2008 Q&A with Bowden.