Dustin McGowan’s long journey back to the majors finally was completed Monday when the Long County native was called up to join the Toronto Blue Jays’ active roster.
The Jays reinstated him off of the 60-day disabled list so he could join the team as it took on the Boston Red Sox in Toronto. According to a report from the Toronto Blue Jays’ website, McGowan said he was nervous about finally being called back up.
“It seems like the last couple of days I’ve been a little nervous. … It’s like getting called back up for the first time — that’s what it feels like,” McGowan said.
McGowan last pitched for Toronto on July 8, 2008, against the Baltimore Orioles, when he had to leave the game due to pain in his right shoulder. Later that month, McGowan had surgery to repair a tear in the shoulder. Since then, he has been in comeback mode, hoping to see another big-league mound. It has been more than three years since he has thrown in a major-league game, but the Blue Jays have been patient with their former starter. They re-signed him last December for a one-year deal worth $450,000.
According to the report Monday, McGowan said he always felt that physically he would be able to return to the majors but that he didn’t know how long that return would take.
McGowan has a major league record of 20-22 with a career ERA
of 4.71. In 2007, he was firmly in the Jays’ rotation, ending the year with a 12-10 record and a 4.08 ERA. In that same season, he finished the year in the fourth spot in the American League in batting average against a pitcher and 19th in strikeouts. That same year, he also was named the most improved player for the Toronto Blue Jays.
This season, McGowan has been in the minors, making rehab appearances for the Jays in their farm system.
According to Monday’s report, McGowan will be used as a relief pitcher for the remainder of this season. It also said that he could be back on the mound as early as Tuesday, when the Jays played the Red Sox in game two of a four-game series. Whenever McGowan does see action, the Coastal Courier will be there to report it.
Mike Riddle covers Long County sports.