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Phillies add Dustin McGowan as neat surprise just before season starts

To anyone who thought the Phillies had nothing up their sleeves, heh heh heh: you were right.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This Easter Sunday, the Phillies have warded off the demons a lack of pitching depth attracts by signing A Pitcher, Dustin McGowan.

Here is the part of the post in which we list the arbitrary round and slot in which McGowan was selected in whatever MLB Draft he first appeared, by whatever team thought he was fine enough to draft. But honestly, who gives a shit. None of that is relevant to the Phillies signing him as a 33-year-old, and if the 2015 Phillies have come calling, and they seem like a real keen option for you, then chances are things haven't really gone as planned, I assume.

The 33-year-old, right-handed McGowan has played 158 games for the Blue Jays since 2005. In 2013, he appeared in 25 games and maintained a 2.45 ERA , with a 3.67 FIP, 170 ERA+, 26 SO, and 12 BB. This was his best output as a pro, as every other version of himself couldn't get that ERA under 4.00.

As a youngling, he once led the entire Toronto Blue Jays organization in strikeouts with 163 at the Low A level in 2002. And his ERA was still over 4.00. When he did sneak onto the Toronto big league roster, he struck out six Rangers in his debut, the most a starting pitcher wearing a Blue Jays uniform for the first time had ever thrown. In 2004, he almost no-hit the Rockies until catcher Jeff Baker singled off him to start the ninth.

Last year, the Blue Jays put McGowan on their rotation and when he defeated the Orioles that April, it was his first win of any kind in six years. He showed up in 53 games in a whole matter of roles; he was starting, he was finishing, hey look, even logged a save.

"Atta boy, McGowan," they used to say, and he would smile and nod politely. What a guy.

The one-year deal McGowan signed with the Dodgers this past February lasted just over a month as they released him on March 31. As far as health goes - the aspect the Phillies are likely most concerned with here - he's already had Tommy John surgery (2004) and rotator cuff surgery (2010), and 2013 started with a bang as he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his problematic shoulder and eventually was gifted a promotion from the 15-day to the 60-day DL. He missed more time with an oblique strain in August, and by the end of the 2014 season, the Jays granted him his freedom by refusing to pay him four million more dollars.

McGowan joins a Phillies pitching staff pieced together from the scrap heap and his season will likely involve several bus rides to and from Lehigh Valley.