The Boston Red Sox have designated 25-year-old pitcher Michael Bowden and Luis Exposito for assignment, while also promoting Jason Repko and Nate Spears as a result of this move, according to a tweet from Alex Speier . Che-Hsuan Lin was also optioned.
Bowden is the most recognizable name of the two demoted youngsters, as he was a first round, pick for the Boston Red Sox back in 2005 Supplemental Draft. In fact, Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie were picked by the Red Sox in the same round of that draftThe former top prospect was once the Portland Sea Dogs Pitcher of the Year in 2008, and he is known for his hard work and focus as a pitcher.
As far as his pitching arsenal goes, Michael Bowden utilizes four pitches; an 88-92 mile per hour fastball, a mediocre curve, a slider that is still a work in progress, and a nasty changeup that is his best pitch. His four-seamer is heavy, and he also mixes in two-seamers and the occasional cutter in there. Bowden has good command overall, except he sometimes has location mistakes with his 12-6 curve. The pitch has great movement, but it isn’t nearly as good as his change.
The 25-year-old had a 2.73 ERA in 52.2 innings as a reliever in AAA last season. Bowden used to be a starter and had some solid seasons, but he has since moved over to the bullpen. It has been an interesting career for a pitcher who was once known as a top 100 prospect, although he did pitch three innings so far this season with two hits allowed, three strikeouts, a walk, and a run that came on a homer while with the Red Sox.
Exposito is also 25-years-old, and the catcher saw 359 plate appearances in his first season at AAA. He had his first season under a .300 OBP, but he did get called up towards the end of the season despite not making an appearance.
Jason Repko signed with the Boston Red Sox in January of this year, and the right-handed outfielder has a career OBP of just .297. He spent the last two seasons with the Minnesota Twins and received just under 150 plate appearances in both years. Repko had a 55 OPS+ in 67 games with the Twins last season, and the center fielder will be starting for the Red Sox today. This means that Che-Hsuan Lin was a one-and-done, and Repko is a good defensive player as well, in addition to being a better hitter (although not by much).
Last season, Repko was at replacement-level status with the Twins, although his terrific defense (+12 UZR) led him to be worth 1.6 WAR a year earlier in 2010. Jason Repko is also a quality base-runner and stole over 2o bases in the minors twice, so he does the little things to help the team win, even if he owns a career .291 wOBA.
The other player who was called up is Nate Spears, who is a lefty and can play at either second or in the outfield (five innings in left field last year). Spears broke into the Majors last season and took four plate appearances with the Sox, although he never notched a hit and struck out once.
In the minors, Spears has had success with a career .361 OBP in ten seasons. He finally broke into AAA Pawtucket in 2011, and he finished the year with a .751 OPS and a .355 OBP. The one thing Spears does best is get on base, because he does a good job of drawing walks to overcome mediocre batting average totals. His defense is adequate, and he has the versatility to play three positions on the diamond at an average rate.
These demotions and promotions are yet more moves that come in the fallout of Jacoby Ellsbury‘s dislocated shoulder.