The Jays won’t play a televised game until St. Patrick’s Day (and then it’s only available on MLB.TV, with Sportsnet’s first broadcast not coming until the next day, according to the club’s online broadcast schedule), so those of us not dicking around in buttfuck Florida only have the audio and the assorted reports of the poor souls who are to go on. But by the sounds of things, Dustin McGowan’s first start of the spring went very well.
Granted, it was against the Houston Astros, but when you think about it, any start in which his shoulder doesn’t explode apart into a billion third base coach-maiming projectiles is probably a good thing.
And McGowan did us one better, topping at 96 on the stadium radar gun, according to Jeff Blair and Ken Fidlin, and sitting consistently at 93, according to Gregor Chisholm, who tells me the gun considered to be more accurate than last year,
Perhaps more importantly, he threw 15 of his 24 pitches for strikes– a 62.5% rate, in an absurdly small sample, but still, better than the 57% he threw in the Majors in 2012. This information is relayed by Chisholm, and Mike Wilner of the Fan 590, who writes that “McGowan looked terrific. He hit his spots, his fastball had good life and his slider had great bite.”
The almost-30-year-old gave up just one hit in his two innings of work, and according to Wilner, “said he felt normal, which is something he hadn’t felt the last four springs.” On the broadcast, Wilner– who, it should be noted, seem to me about as optimistic on McGowan over the winter as anyone– added that he looked like pretty much the same guy we remember.
It’s way early, of course, so hopes are all we’ve really got. But it sure is nice hurt to have these ones– especially with rumblings of potential concern for Brett Cecil (see previous post).