Bowyer pitched at the Major League level for the Twins for eight games during the 2005 season before suffering a rotator cuff injury that has kept him from pitching professionally since.
Bowyer tried to rehab the injury over the next few seasons, but ultimately decided to step away from the game to give himself time to heal on his own.
During that past few years, Bowyer has spent time in semi-professional baseball with Delaware County Baseball League and suffered a knee injury playing basketball that required surgery, sidelining him from getting back to the mound.
Finally healed, and after hearing about the Patriots from current pitcher Mike Solbach and former second baseman Matt Hagen, Saturday was Bowyer’s first professional tryout.
“This means everything to me. I’ve been thinking about this for so long and having dreams about being back out on the mound. Today was very exciting for me and to do well made it even better,” said Bowyer.
Bowyer stood out of the crowd of about 70 hopefuls trying out for the team. He joined two former Patriots, pitcher Saul Solveson and catcher Manny Santana, both looking to find a spot with the team this year.
Currently Bowyer is the only official signing from the tryouts and has received an invite to spring training with the team, beginning this Tuesday at TD Bank Ballpark.
“He threw the ball real well today. You can tell the ball came out of his hand well and he threw for strikes. I have to think that he matches up well with some of the guys we have coming to spring training and should be able to compete for a spot on the roster,” said Patriots manager Sparky Lyle.
In addition to his Major League time, Bowyer has a season of Triple-A experience and a minor league career 28-21 record, a 2.99 ERA, 31 saves, and 422 strikeouts in 430.2 innings pitched in 212 games.
In other team news, the Patriots have signed left-handed pitcher Roy Merritt, who will also join the team on Tuesday.
Merritt has experience in the New York Mets organization, reaching the Double-A level in three seasons, including 31 games at Binghamton last year.
Merritt has a minor league career 3.83 ERA, 29 saves, and 242 strikeouts in 282 innings pitched in 206 games.