6/8/2013 12:23 A.M. ET
After surgeries, McGowan to return to Blue Jays
Former starter has pitched in only five big league games since '08
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Right-hander Dustin McGowan will make his long-anticipated return to the Major Leagues on Saturday afternoon when the Blue Jays continue their three-game series against the Rangers.
McGowan completed his lengthy rehab assignment and will be added to the 25-man roster prior to first pitch. To make room, righty Todd Redmond has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
The 31-year-old McGowan has appeared in only five big league games since 2008 following a series of surgeries on his right shoulder. He's finally healthy, and the Blue Jays intend to see what the former starter can do out of the bullpen.
"He's had a history of arm problems, so he'll basically be a one-, two-inning-max guy. But all we think is that he's going to make us stronger," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.
"He's a great story, a few years ago nobody knew if he was going to make it back. It has been a tough road, because he has gotten healthy, then another setback and things like that. We're just hoping that that's the last one."
McGowan made his well-documented comeback in September of 2011 following multiple surgeries on his road back to the big leagues. The following spring, he entered camp as the favorite to win the No. 5 spot of the Blue Jays' starting rotation, but once again injuries took their toll.
First it was plantar fasciitis in his foot, which caused an initial setback and that was shortly followed by another shoulder ailment. He would eventually be shut down for the season after undergoing a minor surgical procedure. It marked his third shoulder surgery in four years.
The rehab continued this spring, as McGowan began the year on the 60-day disabled list. He eventually started a rehab assignment with Class A Dunedin before being promoted to Triple-A Buffalo. With the Bisons, McGowan posted a 7.00 ERA while striking out 12 and walking six in nine innings.
"We'll definitely be cautious with him because of his history, but he has a great arm," Gibbons said. "He's another guy that, when he's on, can overpower you."
McGowan is 20-24 with a 4.80 ERA in 80 big league appearances (60 starts).
Redmond made two appearances with the Blue Jays and allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings.