Michael Matthew Bowden
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 215 lb.
- High School Waubonsie Valley High School
- Debut August 30, 2008
Pitcher Michael Bowden was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the supplemental 1st round of the 2005 amateur draft, with the 47th overall pick. He was signed by scout Danny Haas and made his pro debut that summer with the GCL Red Sox and didn't allow an earned run in 6 innings pitched. He began 2006 with the Greenville Drive, where he went 9-6 with a 3.51 ERA in 24 starts before being promoted to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, with whom he made 1 start late in the season. Following the year, he was ranked by Baseball America as the Red Sox second best pitching prospect and third best prospect overall.
Bowden began the 2007 season with the Lancaster JetHawks of the California League and went 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in 8 starts before being promoted to the Portland Sea Dogs in July. With the Sea Dogs, he was 8-6 with a 4.28 ERA in 19 outings as a member of the team's rotation.
Bowden made his debut with the Red Sox on August 30, 2008, being called up from the minors for one start against the Chicago White Sox, which he won, 8-2, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings. He was 9-7, 2.62 in the minor leagues that year, splitting his time between Portland and the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox. From 2009 to 2011, he was on a shuttle between Pawtucket and the majors. He went 4-6, 3.13 in 24 starts for Pawtucket in 2009, but was hit hard, to the tune of a 9.56 ERA, in 8 appearances with the major league team. In 2010, he was 6-4, 3.66 at Pawtucket as he began his conversion to a full-time relief pitcher. He made 16 starts in 31 appearances, but in Boston only worked out of the bullpen, making 14 appearances with an 0-1 record and a 4.70 ERA. Back at Pawtucket in 2011, he was 3-3, 2.73 with 16 saves in 41 relief outings before getting another call to Boston. That time, he pitched 14 games, with no record and a 4.05 ERA in 20 innings.
Michael started the 2012 season in the Red Sox's bullpen, but made only two appearances before being designated for assignment; he had given up only 1 run in 3 innings, but the Sox's bullpen was reeling, incapable of filling the shoes of departed closer Jonathan Papelbon, and Bowden paid the price. Out of options, he could not be sent down to the minors, and on April 21st, the Red Sox sent him to the Chicago Cubs in return for OF Marlon Byrd.
He went to Japan in 2014 to play for the Seibu Lions. He debuted on Opening Day, relieving Atsushi Okamoto in the 9th inning of a 2-1 loss to the Rakuten Golden Eagles. He retired Makoto Moriyama, Kazuo Matsui and Motohiro Shima in order.