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Blue Jays wait to replace McGowan in rotation

Blue Jays wait to replace McGowan in rotation

ARLINGTON -- The Blue Jays intend to wait a little bit longer before choosing a replacement for Dustin McGowan in the starting rotation.

Toronto announced on Thursday that McGowan was headed for the bullpen after a six-week stint in the rotation. Marcus Stroman and Todd Redmond are under consideration for a starting role but the Blue Jays plan to stick with the status quo for the immediate future.

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With an off-day coming on Monday, Toronto can afford to skip McGowan's old spot and instead wait another week before making a decision on his replacement.

"We're probably just going to let it run, with that off-day, keep everybody going," Gibbons said of his starters. "We'd need somebody for the second game vs. Oakland [May 24], I think, is how it would play out."

McGowan was a surprise addition to the Blue Jays' starting rotation during the final week of Spring Training. After spending last year in the bullpen, McGowan attempted to make a transition to the starting staff, but the move was met with mixed results.

The 32-year-old enjoyed quality starts vs. the Orioles, Royals and Pirates but in every other outing he was unable to complete more than five innings. McGowan also admitted on Thursday that his arm was still sore four days after a start and that he wasn't recovering as well as anticipated.

That led to a mutual agreement between McGowan and the Blue Jays that he should move back to the bullpen. It's a role where he has thrived before; last year saw McGowan post a 2.45 ERA while striking out 26 in 25 appearances as a reliever.

There's also the added benefit of McGowan providing additional support to fellow relievers Casey Janssen, Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup.

"I like the way it looks personally," Gibbons said. "I think it will give us a chance. We can match up better down there. We've been running with guys, giving them righties, lefties, they carried a decent workload down there doing that."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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