Clay Buchholz took a perfect game into the ninth inning of a AAA game on Monday, May 25. He is 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA for the Partucket Red Sox. He also had 49 strikeouts in 48.1 innings pitched.
Michael Bowden is 2-2 with a 1.64 ERA for Pawtucket. He has already seen some major league action this season with a relief appearance against the New York Yankees. He pitched two perfect innings and struck out two.
Both starters are wallowing in the minors when they should be getting Major League time. This is not a hard problem for the Red Sox to fix. It is said that Brad Penny is being dangled as trade bait for more than a few teams and does not have a hefty contract. John Smoltz is going to be ready soon, so somebody is probably going in a deal before then.
Moving Penny would enable the Red Sox to bring up Buchholz or Bowden to take his spot in the rotation until Smoltz gets back. But the smart move in my opinion would be to keep Smoltz in the already superb Boston bullpen and save his arm for the playoff push later in the season.
Boston also has some starting pitching woes that can be alleviated with Bowden and Buchholz. Daisuke Matsuzaka is getting touched up as we speak by Minnesota and came into the game with an ERA over 10.00 and a DL stint under his belt. Jon Lester issues a “Gator Guarantee” and got shelled for five runs by the Twins as well. If Lester does not shape up, look for the Red Sox to do like every other major league club. they will find a fictional problem with Lester and send him to the DL for a confidence boosting stint in the minors. Theoretically, Buchholz will be in for Penny and Bowden for Lester.
Sure, both youngsters will have an occasional tough outing, but when you have two guys sitting in the minors with ERAs under 1.40, you have to call them up. There is only so much seasoning they need at this point.
This has to be done soon, because the Sox starting rotation needs a jolt, and quickly.