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Dustin McGowan has already been shut down again

Feb 13, 2013, 1:50 PM EST

dustin mcgowan blue jays

After missing all of last season with a foot injury followed by shoulder surgery Dustin McGowan was supposed to be healthy this spring, but because “healthy” and “Dustin McGowan” aren’t allowed to go together he’s already been shut down with more shoulder problems.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters that McGowan’s “shoulder was barking” and he’ll take an indefinite break from throwing off a mound.

McGowan essentially hasn’t been healthy since mid-2008, as multiple injuries have ruined what was once a very promising career as a hard-throwing starter. Toronto raised a lot of eyebrows last spring by signing McGowan to a contract extension that guaranteed him $1.5 million in both 2013 and 2014, plus a $500,000 buyout for 2015. That deal is looking more and more like a charitable donation at this point.

  1. paint771 - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    It looked like a charitable donation at that point too, even (especially) among Jays-watchers.

    I mean granted, the upside was that he could return to some kind of use, in which case, great, potential starter or middle reliever on the cheap. But the downside was always that AA was fine rolling these particular dice because, even if comes up snake eyes, you’ve still bought something – namely, AA sending a message throughout the system that the Blue Jays are a good organization to work for and if you put in your time, loyalty, and work, you won’t just be axed for stuff relatively beyond your control (see also: his almost blowing the Marlins deal because of a promise he made to Jeff Mathis).

    A lot of us, at the time, saw it as AA buying some goodwill even in the worst case scenario. People in the franchise and players pretty much through every level of the system have always liked McGowan, saw how hard he worked, and felt bad for his struggles. It wasn’t charity of course – again, the upside was good – but at the same time it was not only a show of good faith to McGowan, but to all McGowan-like or potential McGowanish players out there. Pay your dues, kid. We take care of our own. And from what I heard, that’s how players throughout the Jays system took it.

    So make no mistake, even if McGowan never throws another pitch, AA still bought something here.

  2. braddavery - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    His head looks as though it’s becoming disconnected from his torso in that photo. No wonder they are shutting him down.

  3. silversun60 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Too bad for the guy. At least he had that one relief appearance where got a standing O in a game they were getting killed in…

  4. bjbeliever - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Can’t say im surprised, but sad to see, loved Mutton Chops. This kid had some real great stuff. If he was able to put in any time this year it would have made the 2013 pitching staff something special. Seems silly to expect him to be able to pitch again given the history, but with him already being paid for 2014, here’s hoping he can get it together and take the mound again as a Blue Jay.

  5. jaysjunkie - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Man, this poor bastard just can’t catch a break.

  6. cur68 - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Damn. I was hoping this kid would be back at it this season. Instead, more of the same with the shoulder. He throws hard and has pretty good command, but that seems to wreck him. Time to learn a knuckle ball, perhaps.

    • nbjays - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Yep, time to get with Dickey in the bullpen and pick his brain. R.A. doesn’t have a ligament in his elbow, McGowan doesn’t have a functional shoulder. Maybe R.A. can help turn that into a plus.

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