Brett Cecil has pitched two excellent games in a row with his new windup. It's new to him, but it's just a good old-fashioned over-the-head full windup.
It has helped his rhythm in his delivery and he is doing a better job of keeping the ball down, something the left-hander must do.
He worked on it with pitching coach Bruce Walton before his start last Sunday against Texas. He pitched a four-hitter and the first shutout of his career in a 3-0 win. His next start was Friday against the same Texas team, and he held them to one run and seven hits in a 3-2 win.
"It's better rhythm," Cecil said. "It's made it easier for me to get the ball down in the first place."
"To his credit, he has taken this recent adjustment and it has worked very well for him," manager John Farrell said.
"He's keeping the ball down," catcher J.P. Arencibia said. "It's unbelievable how many bad swings guys take when he's down.
"He's got good stuff. He could pitch at 88 to 90 (mph) and still be very successful. He just has to keep the ball down. He did it again (Friday). He was able to throw a slider down and he was able to throw his changeup down, and when he needed to throw his fastball, he was able to locate it."
"The guy has got tremendous off-speed stuff," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We knew that and we still couldn't stay back like we should have."
"I think a lot of it has to do with the adjustment in his delivery," Farrell said. "He's had better energy in his delivery, he's had better location to his stuff down in the zone more consistently. And it just allows his changeup to play that much better. He's got a swing-and-a-miss changeup and he's not afraid to throw it in any count."
The one run he did allow was a second-inning homer to Nelson Cruz, a 2-0 sinker that was a good pitch.
"Nelson hit a good pitch, 2-0 down and away he almost knocked down our seats back there but it was a good pitch," Arencibia said.
"I thought was a pretty good pitch," Cecil agreed. "It was a sinker down and away, but apparently that's where he likes it."
Cecil was 1-2 with a 6.86 ERA in four starts when he was demoted to Class AAA Las Vegas in April. He returned June 30 and gave up six earned runs in a loss to the Pirates, although poor defense behind him made the line look worse than he pitched. His ERA was 7.24.
Now he has whittled the ERA to 4.34. In his past five starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA with two complete games.
Cecil has simply gone over the top.
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