According to Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, right-hander Dustin McGowan still has a chance to make this squad’s rotation. Whether Gibbons was toying with the media all along or it was just his usual level of decision-making ineptitude is anyone’s guess. As much as I would ordinarily lend my thoughts to the latter, McGowan’s attempted resurgence and performance this spring are speaking for themselves.
Now the optical-illusion of Spring Training statistics has to be taken into account for any player, even if the city of Toronto’s rooting interest is at the forefront. However, with the recent mismanagement of the Jays’ rotation (issuing Marcus Stroman his big league pink-slip), this is a comeback story that Blue Jays fans need to come full circle.
The aforementioned is the kind of scenario that’s good for the Toronto faithful, yet detrimental to the player, as McGowan has driven this bus countless times before, but as they say: The 17th time’s a charm. A bullpen role would undoubtedly prolong his career; to his credit, though, you have to respect a man on a mission.
A healthy version can rival many of the elite power arms across MLB on any given night. The problem is, he has never gotten the opportunity to actually establish a career footing. The former star-prospect has been dealt an injury-hand for the majority of his major league tenure that would even make a two-seven off-suit look promising. Still only 31-years young, there is still time for a resurrection of talent. Baseball gods: Are you listening?
When considering the current crop of competition for the rotation’s fifth spot of J.A. Happ, Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond (I will wait for the scoffing to subside), one has to wonder how, at the very least, can the Jays’ brass not sign off on this?
The repertoire is present: hitting low-to-mid 90s with consistency, a jackhammer 12-to-six curve and the bulldog mentality that is sorely needed toeing the rubber for this organization.
Where the Jays’ reside in 2014 ultimately will result from the production of the starting staff. With the element of Stroman’s service time masquerading as the only leg to stand on for this franchise’s recent thought process, not seeing the potential McGowan can bring to the table will be inexcusable.
Ask McGowan if the injury risk is one worth taking.