Results pleasing in McGowan's simulated game

Results pleasing in McGowan's simulated game

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Dustin McGowan threw 25 pitches in a simulated game at the Blue Jays' Minor League camp on Tuesday morning and received some glowing praise from his coaching staff.

Pitching coach Bruce Walton was on hand to watch the performance, and he came back pleased with the overall results.

"[He] threw the ball very well," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of McGowan. "He was probably in the low 90s -- I didn't see it personally -- but Bruce talked very good about the action of the stuff down in the zone. The shape and sharpness to his slider was there."

McGowan is slated to make his Grapefruit League season debut Saturday against the Astros. Last year, McGowan posted a 6.43 ERA in 21 innings following a three-year absence because of multiple shoulder surgeries.

The 29-year-old McGowan is expected to open the year as Toronto's No. 5 starter. He is also receiving competition from Kyle Drabek and Aaron Laffey for the final spot in the rotation.