Why would Joe Bowen the catcher pick Joe Bowen the announcer?
“My mom is always on the computer, looking up my friends, searching for new
pictures of me,” the Ft. Wayne, Mich., native said while mom, Sherri Bowen,
was at home Googling away in Ocala, Fla.
“One day, mom says: ‘Did you know that there is a famous broadcaster for the
Toronto Maple Leafs named Joe Bowen?’”
If the catcher ever makes it to the Blue Jays, he won’t have a problem
getting a table.
Bowen, a 12th-round selection of the Detroit Tigers in 2006, was released in
the spring of 2010. The Jays signed him to spend last summer with Auburn.
This spring, at Dunedin, a trio of trainers took turns teasing Bowen —
Vancouver’s Voon Chong, who looks after the wounded at Las Vegas; Gulf
Coast’s Jon Woodworth and Shawn McDermott, who is headed to work for
Vancouver this summer.
“Each one told me how Joe Bowen was the Leafs announcer,” said Bowen.
The 23-year-old has appeared in three games for Lansing, the Eastern
Division leader of the Midwest League. He’s hitting .333 (3-for-9) with a
double and three RBIs.
Carlos Perez gets the majority of the playing time behind the plate, hitting
.279 with five doubles, two triples, nine RBIs and a .727 OPS.
“Our entire pitching staff has been great when it comes to throwing
strikes,” Bowen said. “I caught Daniel Webb against West Michigan and he was
amazing. He can throw every pitch for a strike.”
Webb worked 52/3 innings as Lansing won 12-6, thanks to three hits,
including a double, and three RBIs from Bowen.
Jake Marisnick and Michael Crouse, of Port Moody, B.C., each homered in the
fifth off re-habbing Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya.
Webb is 3-1, with a 5.76 ERA in five starts, walking eight and striking out
19 in 25 innings.
Bowen also had praise for Casey Lawrence and Drew Hutchison and the rest of
Lawrence, “a skinny guy, with a huge heart and around the plate with every
pitch,” according to Bowen, is 2-3 walking three and fanning 19 in 291/3
Hutchison is 1-0, with a 2.67 mark, walking six and striking out 29 in 27
The Lansing staff is the second toughest in the Midwest League when it comes
to allowing walks.
“They’ll bounce ’em when they flip a slider into the dirt to try and get a
hitter to chase one,” Bowen said. “If not, very rarely have I had to block a
ball in the dirt.”
Pitching coach Vince Horsman, of Halifax, N.S., the former Oakland A’s
reliever, has nightly classes before each game.
“Vince will give us a re-run of the night before,” Bowen said. “He’s a big
part of our mentality. He gives us good information and we take it. Vince
preaches pounding down in the zone, keeping guys off-balance and being able
to throw each pitch for a strike.”
Horsman made his major league debut Sept. 5, 1991 pitching 11/3 innings in
for the Jays in 13-1 win over the Cleveland Indians.
“The Leafs?” Horsman said. “I’m a Habs fan all the way.”