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Phillies call up McGowan from Triple-A

PHILADELPHIA -- Even while he was in Lehigh Valley, Dustin McGowan never really left Philadelphia.

"I was still living in Philly, I was just doing the commute to Lehigh when I was in town," McGowan said. "So I was coming home anyway."

McGowan got to come home Friday as he was officially called back up to the Major League club as a replacement for left-handed reliever Jake Diekman who was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley Thursday night. Manager Ryne Sandberg said that he had been impressed by the mechanical adjustments the 33-year-old right-hander made as an IronPig.

"Dustin's been throwing the ball real well," Sandberg said. "He does have a power arm which we saw. He went down and worked on some mechanics and throwing more consistent strikes which had been going well. So he was the guy."

McGowan's power arm was evident in the appearances he made in the Majors in 2015 before being sent to Triple-A. The righty's fastball averaged between 93-95 mph in his 10 games in April and May, but he was unable to control it as 16 walks led to nine earned runs in 14 innings.

McGowan did seem to improve upon that issue in Triple-A, as he walked just two batters in seven innings, allowing no runs and amassing four saves.

In sending down Diekman and recalling McGowan, the Phillies have just one left-hander in the bullpen on the active roster: Elvis Araujo.

Even though this dearth of left-handed depth appears to leave the Phillies in a precarious situation against a Giants team that features four lefties and a switch-hitter, none of whom are hitting below .288, in its everyday lineup, Sandberg isn't concerned. He believes the right-handers he has in the bullpen throw well enough against lefties that they should succeed.

McGowan agreed with that sentiment.

"Hopefully the righties can get lefties out," McGowan said. "At the Major League level we should be able to get both out."

Nick Suss is an associate reporter at
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