One second, he's a passenger on the team's private
charter to the West Coast, and the next, he's riding the bus to an obscure East
Coast town with the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Regardless of the venue, Mortensen has dazzled in relief.
In 20 games for the Red Sox — 34 innings — he's tallied a 1-1 record and a 2.12
ERA, while racking up eight strikeouts.The 27-year-old said his success
stems from his motivation to earn a full-time spot in the bullpen next year.
"You try not to think about next year, but at the
same point in time, I’m definitely trying to establish myself and give myself a
chance for next year," Mortensen said. "I don't think about that too
much. It's more or less each day, who we're facing. If you think about other
things like that, you're going to get sidetracked and it's going to show.
"You're going to be a little bit more vulnerable out
on the mound. As long as you focus and go each game at a time, then when the
offseason hits, you can worry about next year. I try not to think about it too
Mortensen has clearly demonstrated his value in Triple-A,
notching a 5-3 record and 1.91 ERA in 24 appearances. He'll hope this September
audition will result in long-term results, personally and professionally.
"I'm just trying to do anything I can to help us get
back in there and get some momentum or something," he said.