Cecil managed to get just one out before giving up a three-run homer and getting the hook in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 10-4 win over the Diamondbacks. There's not much more to say about Cecil's struggles outside of what's already on record. This season has been a complete disaster for Cecil, who was expected to be one of the most reliable sources of holds entering the 2016 campaign. He's lost all attractiveness not just out of the Jays' bullpen, but also to fantasy owners in practically any format.
Cecil enters the All-Star Break with a 5.14 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in 21 appearances (14 innings) so far in 2016. The left-handed Cecil has fallen a long way from where he stood at the end of spring training. He entered 2016 chasing a historic streak, and in the team's fourth game of the season, Cecil tied the MLB record with 38 consecutive games without allowing an earned run. That's when things went awry for the 30-year-old. The following day he failed to break the record, blew the save and lost the game against the Rays. Cecil spiraled from there, finishing April with an 0-5 record, three blown saves and a 5.79 ERA. In a matter of 72 hours in May, he went from the paternity list to the disabled list with a torn lat. The eighth-year veteran returned just before the break, but his fantasy value is still sidelined. From 2013-2015, Cecil combined to play in 189 games and post an impressive 2.67 ERA with 216 strikeouts in 168.1 innings for Toronto. The potential is there, but Cecil simply hasn't had the opportunity to get going in 2016, and fantasy owners shouldn't waste time on the "wait-and-see" approach with Cecil.
Cecil allowed one run on two hits and struck out one in the seventh inning Thursday against Detroit. Thursday was the left-handed specialist's fourth appearance since being activated from the DL, and the second straight in which he allowed a run. Despite the high hopes, the results so far haven't been any more encouraging than the 5.23 ERA he posted prior to the triceps injury. Cecil doesn't need to get back to the dominance he showed last season, but he will need to improve if he's going to be used to hold games in high-leverage situations.
Cecil, who will step back into the role of primary set-up man against lefties, made adjustments to his curveball while on the DL and feels confident he's got the weapon back in a good spot, Sportsnet reports. If that proves true it'll be a huge boon for Cecil, who struggled mightily to locate his curveball in 16 appearances in April and May, posting a lousy 5.23 ERA before his DL stint. It's impossible to understate just how important the curveball is to the southpaw, who used it 41 percent of the time last season and 44 percent in 2014. FanGraphs' Pitch Value metric assigned Cecil's curveball a Runs Above Average of 9.2 in 2015 and 9.3 in 2014. That made it the ninth-best curveball in the majors last season and the sixth-best two years ago. So far this season, Cecil's curveball is ranked eighth worst in baseball at 4.2 runs below average.
Cecil (triceps) was activated from the 15-day DL Thursday. Cecil has made four rehab appearances as he comes back from a lat injury suffered in May, posting a 2.25 ERA over four innings. He'll now rejoin the Blue Jays' bullpen where he'll reassume a 5.23 ERA and 1.94 WHIP over 10.1 frames. To make room on the roster, Ryan Tepera was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.