Out of the “Wilnerness”

Out of the Wilnerness, Indiana, Mike Wilner, Adam Lind,

From the native land of Adam Lind, it’s Chris from Indiana,  a first-time caller. That’s me. Or at least it was tonight on Jays Talk with sports personality Mike Wilner. 

I gotta say, I can’t wait to get back to Toronto, see some great friends, pay my respects to the Island, and make that 500-level season pass pay.

One week and counting, down.

Visiting with Roy Halladay, before an “engaging” party with some of those great friends will be just what the Doc ordered for this Canada Day weekend. 

Baseball North, here I come.

Despite how fast I spoke and stuttered, I managed to articulate my confusion (or confuse my articulation) about the Sisyphean comeback of Blue Jays pitcher Dustin McGowan.

On Mike Wilner’s Tim Freaking Hudson post, drag the little grey bar of the audio to 56 minutes 15 seconds for a listen.

Mike Wilner: Chris is in Indiana, Chris.

Chris: Yes, I was…..I love the show. I was hoping you might help me better understand the Dustin McGowan situation. I read in one of the major papers that there’s 30 days from the end of extended spring training June 8 for the Jays to decide whether to put him on the 25-man roster or put him through waivers. And I also heard Anthopoulos talking today on the radio about…he was musing cautiously about putting him in the rotation for September and the timeline’s for September. I’m just wondering how the contract and the situation works out in terms of the roster moves the Jays would have to make. Assuming he….

MW: If you bring him up in September, you don’t have to make any move. Rosters are expanded in September, but they would have to make room for him on the 40-man roster, which is full right now. He’s on the 60-day disabled list, so he doesn’t take up a space on the 40-man roster. What you heard about 30 days from the end of extended spring-training is not really true. We had been led to believe that, but we now understand that you can still keep a guy…..even though extended spring training is over, and it’s over now. You don’t have to send a guy out on a rehab assignment until he’s ready to rehab. So Dustin McGowan’s not ready to rehab yet. Once he goes out on an official rehab assignment, it can be no more than 30 days. And at the end of those 30 days, if he’s healthy, he has to come to the major leagues or…..McGowan, in McGowan’s case because he’s out of options, he would have to be put on waivers, if they want to keep him down in the minor leagues.

Chris: Okay, I think I got it. Thanks a lot.

MW: Alright, you’re welcome, and since the Blue Jays are saying early September -that’s what Alex Anthopoulos said today- that means he’s not going to go out on the rehab assignment until early August. And they’re being very very careful with him. At the end of June, he’s going to go three innings every five days. He’s going to do that twice. Then, he’s going to do four innings every five days twice, then five innings every five days twice, and they’re going to hopefully get him up to seven. And if he’s capable of doing that, it’s a minor miracle for one thing, and it’s fantastic news for another. And then Dustin McGowan will come back, if all goes well, be in the rotation next year, and he’s a free agent after next year (laughs). So we’ll see how that works.

Most days, I’m here without a phone, but Skype got the job done, mostly. 

Here’s the text from my follow-up question and answer in the comments section from Miked Up:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for clearing up some of the confusion around Dustin McGowan scenarios. I meant to ask, if all goes well, and he begins his rehab assignment say August 1, how will the Jays have been preparing him up to that point? How will he be incrementally “gaming up” to August 1, without the benefit of pitching to batters like in extended spring training? The IBL Leafs could always use another reliever! I jest, but am curious whether rules exist that would preclude him from pitching a little semi-professional or amateur ball.

MW: Yes, those rules exist. But he can pitch simulated games to real batters, and that’s what he’s going to be doing up until it’s time to send him out on the official assignment.

Right after my call is an amusing affirmation of the truly acrobatic nature of John McDonald’s game.

Johnny Mac, Wizard, Genius

MW: Dave is in Guelph. Hey Dave.

Dave: I’m just a huge fan of Johnny Mac.

MW: Well, who isn’t?

Dave: Well, he’s a wizard in the infield, acrobat in the outfield.

MW: What?

Dave: Johnny Mac?

MW: He’s played maybe two innings in the outfield in his life.

Dave: Well…

MW: I wouldn’t go so far as…..

Dave: Well, he’s an acrobat.

MW: Okay.

Dave: Anyways, he’s good on defense.

MW: Yes, he is.


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