Moving McGowan a smart choice

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Putting Dustin McGowan back in the bullpen is the right move.

Now, the Toronto Blue Jays have to ask some serious questions about their starting rotation.

Moving McGowan back will help the struggling pen hopefully close out games, but also might prevent him from getting injured this season.

McGowan, who has had an injury-riddled career, was not the right choice as a starter at the beginning of year and should have started in the bullpen.

Alas, this may be the start of manager John Gibbons figuring out who belongs where in the rotation.

According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, top prospect Marcus Stroman and veteran Todd Redmond are the leading candidates to replace McGowan in the rotation.

I don’t think those are either are the best option for the plagued starting rotation. Stroman is still young and should be able to develop when he will succeed. Anyone remember the pressure that was put on Ricky Romero’s shoulders? Where is he now?

Redmond typically struggles to get through lineups after the second go-through. There is a reason he comes from the bullpen when the starters’ falter.

“We’ve got a couple of different options,” Gibbons said to reporters during his pre-game scrum. “Truthfully, we don’t know yet.”

That is not a good sign coming from the manager. It is unrealistic for him to have all the answers, but Gibbons has not done a great job this season of bringing in the right pitcher in situations.

The Jays can get through the next couple of games, as they have brought up J.A. Happ to run with a six-man rotation, so the team could go back to the usual five-man rotation.

However, Happ has struggled badly so far and the majority of the other starters have failed to go deep in games.

Having McGowan back in the bullpen will provide stability and could be a crucial step in turning this floating ship around. Especially with Casey Janssen back from the disabled list.

That is why it is a good move not only for him, but also for the Blue Jays.

“I think he makes us stronger,” Gibbons said of moving McGowan. “I think he’ll be a top-notch reliever for a few more years.”

It should be interesting to see what the Jays do to their starting rotation, if they run with the young Stroman or go out and get an arm, if they decide to go the trade route.

However, the rotation needs to be settled and solidified if they want to succeed this season.

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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