Monday, February 23, 2015

Welcome to the Blue, Dustin McGowan!

I think it's fair to say that the Dodger off-season is all about taking measured risk by pursuing highly talented players who are currently undervalued due to recent injury past.  I guess they view their ability to take these kind of risk a competitive advantage over less monied clubs.  And you know what, they are right. 

Over the past several months the Dodgers have signed Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy and Brandon Beachy - all talented, but surrounded by risk.  This morning we get word that the Dodgers have signed another recovering pitcher.  They have just signed right-handed pitcher (and likely to be a reliever) Dustin McGowan to a one-year contract.  Per a Dodger press release:
McGowan, who will wear No. 27, has a 25-27 career record with a 4.57 ERA in 158 games (68 starts) in seven big league seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2005-08, 2011, 2013-14. In 90 career relief appearances, McGowan has posted a 4-1 record with a 3.79 ERA, nearly a run better than as a starter (4.78), and limited opposing hitters to a .224 batting average. Overall, he has struck out nearly twice as many as he's walked during the course of his career, fanning 392 and walking 199 in 482.1 innings, and been particularly successful against right-handed hitters, against whom he's posted a .235/.300/.334 career slashline.

The 32-year-old made a career-high 53 appearances (eight starts) for the Blue Jays last year, going 5-3 with a 4.17 ERA and his first-career save. McGowan started the campaign as a member of Toronto's starting rotation and went 2-2 with a 5.08 ERA (22 ER/39.0 IP) in eight starts, before being added to the bullpen, where he was a solid contributor with a 3.35 ERA (16 ER/43.0 IP), a 1.16 WHIP and a .215 opponents' batting average in 45 appearances. While McGowan struggled at Rogers Centre, he went 4-0 with a 2.31 ERA (12 ER/46.2 IP) in 28 games (four starts) on the road, where he limited opponents to a .173 batting average (28-for-162).
In case you didn't catch it, McGowan will be wearing Matt Kemp's old number.  Also, the recently signed Brandon Beachy has been, as expected, placed on the 60-day DL.  As for McGowan's injury history here is what Ken Gurnick at tells us:
He's had Tommy John surgery, three shoulder operations (rotator cuff and labrum), knee surgery, plantar fasciitis, an oblique injury and Type 1 diabetes, but he's battled back and still throws hard.
In celebration of McGowan's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I photoshopped a photo of him wearing a vintage Brooklyn Dodger cap and the 1964 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are the career stats for Dustin McGowan, via Baseball-Reference:

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