But What Do I Know? … Dustin McGowan, Scott Thorman, Ryan Dempster

My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (My apologies for the wonky spacing. I can’t figure out how to adjust this):

  • Nobody loves Dustin McGowan’s comeback story more than me, but the Blue Jays’ decision to sign him to an extension is baffling. Perhaps the memory of J.P. Ricciardi low-balling Chris Carpenter out of town in 2002 still haunts the club. I know the Jays haven’t committed a lot of money ($1.5 million for each of 2013 and 2014 and a $4-million team option for 2015) to McGowan, but given that the right-hander has only pitched in five games since 2008, I don’t understand the Jays’ eagerness to offer him long-term security.
  • Devon Teeple of The GM Perspective recently reported that Cambridge, Ont., native and former Braves first-round pick Scott Thorman has signed with the independent American Association’s Winnipeg Goldeyes. The 30-year-old slugger spent last season with the Detroit Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate in Toledo, where he belted 13 homers in 109 games.
  • As promised, here’s a link to Tom Hawthorn’s excellent obituary about former Vancouver Capilanos hurler Ernie Kershaw, also a legendary teacher, who died on February 13 at age 102: http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20120316.OBKERSHAWATL/BDAStory/BDA/deaths
  • One name that Blue Jay fans should remember is Evan Crawford. The 25-year-old southpaw reliever pitched four innings without allowing a hit or a run this spring. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on Crawford being the first player the Jays recall in 2012.
  • Canadians Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, B.C.) and Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.) have been named the Opening Day starters for the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates respectively.
  • The most pleasant surprise of the Blue Jays’ training camp has to be the hitting heroics of Yan Gomes. The 24-year-old catcher, who likely ranks as the sixth-best catching prospect in the organization, is hitting .400 in 16 games. Of his 12 hits, two came off of Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels on March 18. While Gomes is a long shot to see any big league action this season, he has certainly made an impression this spring.
  • Some shameless self-promotion here, but here’s a link to my article for Sympatico on Edmonton native Mike Johnson, who has pitched in 16 cities and five different countries in a 19-year professional career:  http://sports.sympatico.ca/home/thesaturdayticket/opinions/the_incredible_journey_of_a_canadian_pro_baseball_player/cd5b3c84

 

Published by cooperstownersincanada

Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.

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