Sports

Red Sox roster ready to grow

With rosters set to expand Monday, when Major League Baseball allows teams to grow from 25 to 40, bringing up players who are on the 40-man roster, here’s a look at a few Red Sox minor-leaguers who could get the call.Triple-A Pawtucket has clinched a playoff spot, and is still in the hunt for the International League North title, 3 1/2 games behind the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees with six games to play. Double-A Portland is 1 1/2 games up on Binghamton for the final playoff spot with eight games remaining.”Minor-league playoffs won’t affect callups as they are needed at the major-league level,” said Red Sox director of player development Mike Hazen. “I don’t think all callups will go right on Sept. 1, however, since they will be able to keep staying sharp by playing games at the minor-league level.”Pitchers David Pauley, infielder/outfielder Joe Thurston, and outfielder Jeff Bailey are currently with the big-league team and will likely stay. Following is a look at a few others who could get the call. Not all of these players will get called, with the Sox not likely to tap more than a handful.A couple of major-league scouts pitched in with their thoughts on the players.Pitchers:Michael Bowden – The right-hander, who turns 22 Sept. 9, was promoted from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Pawtucket July 21. With the Sea Dogs, Bowden was 9-4 with a 2.33 ERA in 19 starts, then second in the Eastern League in both ERA and strikeouts. In 104 1/3 innings with Portland, he allowed 31 runs (27 earned) on 72 hits and 24 walks with 101 strikeouts (stats are prior to Tuesday’s games). Since joining the PawSox, he is 0-3 with a 3.38 ERA in seven games (six starts). In 40 innings, he has given up 16 runs (15 earned) on 40 hits and five walks, striking out 29. But expect the Sox to be protective of him and his innings count. Last season, he threw 142 2/3. This season’s total is 144 1/3 – and counting. He is not likely to go over 170. Bowden is not currently on the 40-man roster.Scout A: “I see him as a number-four or number-five starter. I got a feeling they think he’s a whole lot better, and I’m not saying that because of what the Red Sox might have, like if you looked at it and said, ‘Well, is he better than (Jon) Lester? Is he better than (Daisuke) Matsuzaka?’ So therefore he can only be a number four or five. But I think that’s where he fits in. Obviously, if he went to the weakest team in baseball, well, maybe he’s better than that. But, in general, I just think that’s what he is?He probably is a guy they would want to bring up and have him experience the big-league lifestyle for a month and maybe get him into some things when it doesn’t matter?Pitch him out of the bullpen a couple innings here or there, maybe he only totals 10 innings for September.”Clay Buchholz – His struggles have been well-chronicled this season – a record of 2-9, with a 6.75 ERA for Boston, and problems with control. He was sent back to Portland to work out those issues. Monday against New Britain, he was not involved in the decision, going seven innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, striking out eight and not issuing a walk. Despite his big-league struggles, expect to see the right-hander back in Boston before the end of the season.Bartolo Colon – The Red Sox acquired the burly 2005 Cy Young Award winner in February as insurance to bolster their pitching staff. With Tim Wakefield just coming off the disabled list, Buchholz struggling, should-be ace Josh Beckett struggling, and Daisuke Matsuzaka enigmatically rolling along at 15-2 with a 2.98 ERA, file this under ‘this is what we were talking about.’ In six games with the Sox this season – although none since June 16, after being placed on the DL with a lower back strain – Colon is 4-2 with a 4.09 ERA. In 33 innings, he has given up 18 runs (15 earned) on 37 hits and nine walks with 26 strikeouts. In seven games with the PawSox, Colon has a record of 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA. In 22 1/3 innings he has allowed fo

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