McGowan is currently rehabbing from a right shoulder injury at the Blue Jays Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla. That location has become his home away from home after spending most of the past four years there working through various injuries.
The 30-year-old has undergone multiple surgeries on his right shoulder and a procedure on his right knee, but with the exception of a five-game stint at the big league level in 2011 he has yet to find any type of prolonged success.
"[He] continues to forge ahead," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "His personal resolve has not wavered. His work ethic, his determination is there. Certainly he has dealt with a lot of frustration because of what he has gone through, but he's still trying to get past the discomfort."
McGowan entered this Spring Training as the favorite to win the fifth spot in the starting rotation. That plan came unglued late in camp when he was shut down because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
While rehabbing that injury in Florida, the discomfort in his right shoulder resurfaced. He has attempted to start throwing on multiple occasions since the beginning of the year but has been unable to settle into any type of routine because of the lingering pain.
For now, he continues to go through regular exercises and a weight training program in an effort to get back on the mound, but there is no return in sight.
"There's a constant rehab going on with the shoulder," Farrell said. "When he gets to the point of putting a ball in his hand, there are days when he feels OK and there are days when he feels it and has been shut down to continue to address the strengthening."
McGowan has a 20-24 record with a 4.80 ERA in parts of five seasons at the big league level.