According to comments made by manager John Gibbons on Sportsnet 590 The FAN (h/t Ben Nicholson-Smith, Sportsnet), Dustin McGowan will make his next scheduled start for the Toronto Blue Jays on May 4th.
After Marcus Stroman had his Triple-A start skipped to align with McGowan’s schedule and followed up with a ten strikeout performance, many thought the veteran right-hander may soon be moved out of the rotation if his struggles continued.
However, with an insulin pack strapped to his body, McGowan answered the call beautifully by pitching into the seventh inning for the second time this season and despite striking out just two he pitched admirably in a game that was blown by the Blue Jays’ bullpen. It was about as you could ask for from McGowan, who nearly as good as his second start of the season in Baltimore.
How much longer will McGowan last? It appears that Stroman is more than ready to step in if needed and J.A. Happ you would assume is just waiting for another chance to redeem himself. Todd Redmond and Esmil Rogers are options but mediocre ones at best in my opinion.
If McGowan makes it through June it will be a huge win for the Blue Jays. At that point Stroman can be called up while avoiding Super Two implications, which don’t sound like a huge deal but can save a team millions in arbitration raises over the course of a player’s controllable years.
For now the pitching staff appears to be hanging on, if only by a thread. However back-to-back quality starts from McGowan would at least help put some questions to rest about the back end of the rotation.