Bowden replaces Raley in bullpen swap

Bowden replaces Raley in bullpen swap

CHICAGO -- The Cubs added a fresh arm to the bullpen on Thursday, selecting the contract of right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden and optioning lefty Brooks Raley back to Triple-A Iowa.

Raley pitched 4 1/3 innings on Wednesday night against the Angels, the longest outing by a Cubs reliever this season. He was the 42nd player used this season, setting a franchise record for most players used before the All-Star break.

"We had Raley here in case something like [Wednesday] happened, and it happened," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said on Thursday. "[Bowden] kind of solidifies the bullpen right now."

Bowden was a victim of bad timing. The right-hander began the season with the Cubs and posted a 3.78 ERA over 14 games in relief. But he was designated for assignment to make room for Matt Garza, who began the season on the disabled list. Bowden compiled a 2.41 ERA in 13 games with Iowa, striking out 28 over 18 2/3 innings.

"It's part of the game," Bowden said of the roster move in May. "A move had to be made and, unfortunately, it was me. I just tried to go down there and worked to get back here as soon as possible."

Bowden said things "clicked" at Iowa.

"I was throwing the ball a lot better," Bowden said. "I think my arm was a little tired earlier in the year, so I've finally got to where it needs to be and I've just executed my pitches better and my mechanics are allowing me to throw with a little more conviction."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.