Last night, I watched the MLB Draft. And honestly, I really enjoyed it - aside from the raging hardon that John Hart just couldn't hide behind the MLB Network desk for every SAFE pick on the board. All told, it was an enjoying piece of television to fill my Blue Jays void from the night. (Luckily, Strasburg filled that void tonight, because 8-0 Rays is kind of making me sick right now.)
The Jays draft can be summed up in one word: Underwhelming. Virtually all mid-ceiling, John Hart-approved safe picks, and really no one incredibly impressive new Jays.
However, this is the state of the MLB Draft. It will never be as prospected as the NFL or NHL drafts. Much of this, of course, is due to the fact that in baseball, even after being drafted, a player still has to succeed in being promoted through 2-3 Low A teams, a High-A team, Double A, and finally Triple A before getting to the show. Needless to day, it takes a while to see the results of a draft. There is the Washington Nationals 2009 draft, though, that is an extreme exception with Storen and Strasburg already in the National League (and also, 5-0 Mike Leake in Cincinnati.)
Of course, all of the hype with this draft got me thinking of past Blue Jays drafts, and one #1 in particular, Dustin McGowan (2000).
Since signing on as a professional with the Jays in 2000 (it has now been a decade), Dustin McGowan is 20-22 with a 4.71 ERA in fragments of four injury-marred seasons from 2005-2008. I've stuck with my main man Dustin through the years, and last night read excellent news from the injury front..
According to Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun:
Right-handed pitcher Dustin McGowan (who is on the 60-day disabled list in his lengthy recovery from shoulder surgery performed in July of 2008) threw off the mound Monday for the first time since a triple-A spring training game March 19. McGowan threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session. Afterward he reported: “No problems.”
McGowan’s recovery has been an on-again, off-again misadventure for quite some time as last season he even missed time due to a knee injury that required surgery.
This spring, McGowan at one time was progressing so well that the Jays were talking about him breaking camp as one of the members of their rotation. Then came his outing in the spring training game against the Pirates affiliate where he experienced a “dead arm”. Now he is back and throwing but given his history and the problem with shoulder injuries there are no guarantees that he will make it back to the big-league level. The Jays have put no timetable on his latest recovery.
This isn't even news to most Jays fans at this point. I, myself will watch the news wire from here on, hoping for the day in which MLB's greatest chops will once again grace the league with mid-90's heat and knee-bending curves. Best of luck, Dustin.