Tag:Brett Cecil
Posted on: April 21, 2011 12:13 am

Skipper Farrell concerned about Cecil's velocity

By Evan Brunell

CecilOn a night where Bartolo Colon snagged his first win in two years, opposing pitcher Brett Cecil was struggling to find good things to say about his season so far.

Cecil was thumped for five earned runs in five innings, walking four and whiffing four as his ERA ballooned to 6.86 in 21 innings. This after the youngster put together a 15-7 season last year with a 4.22 ERA in 28 starts.

As John Lott of the National Post tweets, manager John Farrell is concerned about Cecil's velocity, which has taken a while to get going. After averaging 90 mph with his fastball over the last two seasons, Cecil was averaging 88.3 mph on his fastball through his first three starts. Wednesday night was more promising as he came in with an average speed of 89.53 mph, topping out at 91.2 mph.

In the early going, pitchers tend to need some time to completely finish building up their arm strength, which is why so many tend to be limited around 75 pitches their first time out. In addition, pitchers have a more difficult time getting warmed up in cold weather which can really impact velocity. As we've seen with Phil Hughes, however, sometimes velocity drops are a harbinger of something to come.

Farrell, however, states that Cecil is healthy. Given his marginal increase in velocity and lack of current solutions, Cecil should get a couple more starts to right himself but certainly is in danger of being optioned to Triple-A. The club just sent down Jesse Litsch given he had an option left, for Brandon Morrow to step in the rotation. Litsch needs to be down on the farm for at least 10 days, barring an injury, before he can be recalled. That would give Cecil two starts to assert himself before the Blue Jays can seriously consider optioning him.

Cecil had a cupcake beginning to the year with the Twins and Angels as his first opponents, but just went through the meat grinder with the Red Sox and Yankees. Things won't get any easier, as he will face the Rangers and Yankees again in his next two starts.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 3, 2011 8:34 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 8:35 pm

3 up, 3 down for 3/3: Jones returns to third base


By Evan Brunell

3 UP

1. 3B Chipper Jones, ATL: 2 AB, 1 R, 1 H. For the first time since tearing his ACL, Chipper Jones played first base in a game Thursday, and things turned out just fine. Jones has made a rapid return from surgery and is trying to get used to playing the field again. He fielded a grounder flawlessly and also caught a popup in his four innings of work.

2. SP Brett Cecil, TOR: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Quite an impressive game for Cecil, even if it is spring training. The youngster is gearing up for his first full season in the majors and is excited to see manager John Farrell allowing him to throw 60 pitches. "The way I see it, [60 pitches] is just a glimpse of the future of how [Farrell] is going to let us pitchers go deeper into the game," Cecil told the AP. Even though we got a little bit of a high pitch count, I'm extremely happy."

3. SP Neftali Feliz, TEX: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K. Not a bad start for Feliz, who is attempting to convert from closing to starting. The AL Rookie of the Year churned out 36 pitches but is still working on feeling out how much effort to expend with each pitch to ensure he can go deep in games. "I need to find my pace so I can go longer," Feliz said via a translator according to the AP. "I don't know how hard to go so that I can go longer."


1. SP Randy Wolf, MIL: 1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. Yuck. Not a pretty start for Wolf, but it's still very early and he's likely still rounding into game shape. He's no longer being looked at to top the rotation with the additions of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum along with the ascension of Yovani Gallardo, but the Brew Crew still needs a strong season from the lefty in the quest for the division title.

2. SP Troy Tulowitzki, COL: 2 AB, 0 H, 0 R, 0 RBI, 1 K. Tulowitzki was forced to leave the game after whiffing on an awkward swing to end the fourth inning. He was later diagnosed with a bruised right heel, but any injury -- no matter how slight -- to the Rockies' new multi-millionaire and face of the franchise is nothing to feel good about.

3. RF Elijah Dukes, FAIL: Hit pregnant ex-girlfriend. OK, so it was a bit humorous earlier this offseason when word surfaced that Dukes had "retired" from baseball and was intent on a new career as a rapper named Fly Eli. But will Dukes ever learn? He's fathered multiple children by multiple mothers, has a history of violence and threw away a career in the majors. Has he learned? Nope. Will he ever learn? Doesn't look like it. Unfortunately, it may be time to write Dukes off as a redeeming member of society.

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Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:25 am

Bumgarner among those on Verducci Effect list

Madison Bumgarner Sports Illustrated 's Tom Verducci has come out with his Verducci Effect watch list for 2011 , led by San Francisco left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

The Verducci Effect states pitchers 25 and younger shouldn't increase their workload more than 30 innings from one year to the next. (In fairness to Verducci, he originally called it the "Year After Effect" because the year after the jump in innings there was a regression or injury).

Last year the 10 on the watch list finished with four pitchers who were hurt or regressed, two we about the same and four -- Mat Latos, Felix Hernandez, Josh Johnson and Max Scherzer had breakout years. Verducci notes it was "as strong a showing against the Verducci Effect since I started tracking it."

The 10 on his list for 2011, followed by their age and innings increase in 2010:
Madison Bumgarner, 21, 73
Alex Sanabia, 22, 66 1/3
Mat Latos, 23, 61 2/3
David Price, 25, 58 2/3
Brandon Beachy, 24, 57
Phil Hughes, 24, 46
Brett Cecil, 24, 41 1/3
Gio Gonzalez, 25, 41
Dillon Gee, 24, 40
Travis Wood, 23, 38 1/3
Ivan Nova, 23, 38 1/3

That's not to say all of these pitchers will struggle or get hurt next season -- pitchers are being watch more closely than ever -- but it is something to watch.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 11, 2010 5:55 pm

Jays' Cecil suffering from fatigue

Brett Cecil With 155 innings under his belt, Brett Cecil has already blown past his 2009 innings total, but manager Cito Gaston doesn't see a need currently to shut down the young lefty.

"If he has to be shut down, then we'll do that," Gaston told MLB.com , adding he hoped that wasn't the case. It's an interesting statement to make in light of the club shutting down Brandon Morrow, as if there's two divergent philosophies occurring.

For Cecil's part, he's concerned about fatigue. After a strong start against the Yankees, Cecil lasted just two innings Friday against the Rays, coughing up seven runs. Cecil mentioned his fastball wasn't up to par with his season totals. He averaged 89.55 mph on his fastballs with a season average of 90.2 mph.

The 23-year-old Cecil has made 25 starts, checking in with a 4.12 ERA, giving up an average of three walks per nine innings and a 6.4 K/9 and has been an important part of Toronto's surprisingly strong season.

Gaston said Cecil hasn't approached him with any concerns of arm fatigue and plans to see Cecil toe the mound Wednesday against the Orioles.

"If he feels like he's tired, we'll skip him or see what we can do with it," said Gaston. "You're gonna have to get through that. If you're arm's sore and you're hurting, that's different. But if you're tired, i think you're going to have to battle through that."

Even if Cecil is only suffering from being tired, the Jays may want to keep a close eye on the youngster's ever-rising innings total. There's no reason to keep throwing Cecil out there through the rest of the season with no postseason spot on the line. After two or three more starts, bringing his innings mark to around 170-175, the Jays should very strongly consider shutting Cecil down for the rest of the year.

To replace him in the rotation, Toronto could turn to Rommie Lewis or Brian Tallet.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 10, 2010 6:22 pm

Blue Jays shuffle rotation

Brett Cecil The Blue Jays are moving two pitchers back in the rotation.

Brett Cecil cut his right knee on a fall, according to manager Cito Gaston via MLB.com's Jordan Bastain and required three stitches. As a result, Cecil's Thursday start is being shoved to Saturday. As a result, Cecil will dodge the Red Sox in the final game of the upcoming series and go up against Trevor Bell and the Angels.

Saturday's starter -- you may have heard of him -- will also be pushed back, this time three days. Brandon Morrow recently fired a complete-game shutout requiring 137 pitches and the team is exercising caution with the 26-year-old. As a result, Morrow loses out on the Angels and will duel Oakland, presumably against Dallas Braden. Hopefully Morrow won't encroach on Bradenia too bad.

As a result of the moves, Boston will see Brad Mills on Thursday, who is being promoted from Triple-A. Mills has made two starts on the season thus far, posting a 4.05 ERA over 11 innings -- which appears lucky as he has averaged 5.7 walks per nine innings and 4.9 whiffs per nine. The 25-year-old has 17 starts in Triple-A, checking in with a 4.20 ERA and a much more sane 7.9 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.

On Friday, the Angels will see Mark Rzepczynski. The lefty had a solid major-league debut in 2009, posting a 3.67 ERA in 11 starts. However, that ERA has soared to 7.15 in two starts and two relief appearances on the season despite a 1.6 BB/9 and 10.3 K/9 mark thanks to an obscene .458 BABIP. However, his minor-league tour hasn't gone well either. He has an unsightly 6.04 ERA in 12 starts, although BABIP is plagued him there as well.

-- Evan Brunell

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com