TORONTO -- Since Dustin McGowan returned to the Blue Jays on June 8, he's shown plenty of reason why the club was so patient through his long rehab stints.
McGowan has a tidy 1.42 ERA in 12 2/3 innings in relief and hasn't allowed an earned run in his last eight appearances.
"He's pitching great," Gibbons said of McGowan, who tossed a scoreless inning in Friday's 8-5 loss to the Rays. "We didn't know what to expect [when he was called up], so we kind of eased him into it. … And then he kept pitching so well we upped the time of the game we used him at, and he's taken off with it."
McGowan was seen as the last man out of the bullpen, and he was held for when the club needed more than inning. Now, the 31-year-old has risen in the pecking order, and he would appear to be the team's seventh-inning man.
Although his role in the bullpen is secure for this season, there's still a chance he'll be a starter in the future. That decision would likely come from general manager Alex Anthopolous and his plans for the club in 2014.
"You get excited either way," Gibbons said. "I mean, he's doing so well [as a reliever]. But we've seen him in the past as a starter and how good he can be."