For all the ballyhoo about Brett Cecil’s velocity this spring, I figured that after yesterday’s start against the Twins we’d have some new data to scrutinize. But damn it if I haven’t been looking all over the place to find some information on where Cecil’s fastball was sitting and coming up empty.

Now, I’m no fucking Geeves here, but all my searching has turned up is this single tweet about a Jerry Howarth comment from friend (and occasional foe) @NorthYorkJays:

So… there was a stadium gun?

But… wait, was Howarth even at Cecil’s start yesterday? Because I was only able to listen to the shitty Twins feed on MLB.com. And wasn’t the club’s entire media horde over at the maple circle jerk at Al Lang field?

I don’t know. But I find it more than a little bit curious that the main question any right-thinking fan would have wanted answered yesterday– where Cecil’s velocity is at– seems to have gone unanswered, except for a comment from Jerry, buried in the endless stream of live radio.

Unanswered, that is, as far as me and any Google or Twitter search for “Brett Cecil” and “fastball,” or “velocity,” or the numbers 86 through 90, is concerned.

I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist– and Occam’s razor would suggest I’m probably just doing a shit job of searching– but… I don’t know. It’s weird. Isn’t it? And very obvious why the club would prefer that fans weren’t hanging on every pitch of every Cecil start to see what the radar gun says.

Which isn’t to say that fans should want to scrutinize a pitcher’s velocity too heavily at this point in camp, it’s just odd that when they’d legitimately want to, they seemingly can’t. Did the media folk simply decide that the Canada wank was a better, more sellable story? Perhaps it’s as simple as that.

Comments (40)

  1. Howarth, in the same interview, said he was at the Twins game and watching the Cecil start. Said the gun was read 87-88-89. For what that’s worth.

  2. pretty sure I found 1 or 2 results yesterday but didn’t know what to compare them with.

    just search: brett cecil tuesday march 13 mph

    i think it was a yahoo sports update possibly

  3. The more pressing concern is if he’s leaving his 87-89 stuff belt high. I remember Ashby commenting during his first spring start that he was leaving the ball up which was a huge concern last year.

    Also The twins feed from yesterday was HORRIBLE. They spent an entire inning talking about haunted walks, stopping maybe twice to actually, you know, do their jobs.

  4. I haven’t quite understood this fascination with Cecil’s velocity. Obviously it would be helpful if he was throwing above 90, but his pitching has never been reliant on that. If he’s commanding his FB and his changeup is working, Cecil is a fine pitcher. If he’s leaving pitches up and his changeup isn’t effective, that’s when he gets hit.

    • I agree, totally. But I think it tightens the competition for rotation spots if he doesn’t have that little bit of extra help on his fastball. And with all the Blanton/Floyd stuff and the rumours of concern from the coaching staff and management this week, it’s something I’m very surprised didn’t get more attention.

      • 85mph sliders and 82mph changeups aren’t as effective when you’re throwing 87mph fastballs. And 87mph fastballs aren’t as effective as 90mph fastballs. Aren’t these undeniable truths?

        • well the 87 mph fast balls up and over the plate are not as effective.. but then if you are going to try that trick, you better be throwing 100+mph.

        • its not just velocity, its movement as well. pin straight 100s can be hit easier than 92 with wiggle

    • His velocity is a helluva lot more important than his weight. The media spent weeks writing about his physical shape, so the logical follow up to that would be seeing if it actually had any effect on his stuff. It hasn’t, thus far.

    • Greg Maddux went a whole career pitching in the same velocity range as Cecil. And he’s going to the Hall of Fame.

      • I’m tired of people mentioning Greg Maddux in the same breath as Brett Cecil. We all know it’s command and Brett Cecil hasn’t showed enough of it.

      • Hahahaha.

        I could once throw as hard as Maddux sat, and I’m sitting at a desk right now.

  5. Damn! I was going to ask YOU! It doesnt make sense they would publicize it for one start and then have a news black out for the second. Someone has to know. Who’s the Trainor in charge of radar guns ?

  6. Jerry said he was at Fort Myers yesterday. Said there were lots of 2-0 and 3-0 counts and that Cecil left a lot of his pitches up.

    • Sounds like his first two starts, which I was at. Way too many balls up in the zone. And if you’re throwing 87 in those spots, you get hurt.

  7. Greg Maddux: 84-89 MPH. Change up, great moving 2 seam, curveb all and a whole lot of command.

    One of the best of all time. If Cease continues to keep hitters thinking/ and guessing with the ball down, then just might unseat Jared Flogel as the poster boy for Subway.

    • I’ll make you a bet Cecil isn’t Maddux. You can’t site the exceptions. Most people who throw 87mph fastballs don’t have long mlb careers. The harder you throw, the better your chances.

      Don’t wait for Cecil to turn into a HOFer.

    • Maddux is the exception, not the rule. Also, Cecil has shown little ability to locate his pitches effectively over his career, unless you call fastballs at the belt effective.

      • A proper comparison for velocity and command is probably Ted Lilly, if we’re talking best case scenario.

  8. It’s plain lazy journalism by the beat reporters at Spring Training. They wrote storiy after story about the 30+ lb weight loss and new attitude, but none of that means a thing without the fastball. 86-88mph will not equal projectable mlb success. Yet, 91-93 can make him a very good 3 starter.

    • David Purcey had a 93 MPH FB. It didn’t mean a damn thing without command/control and an effective secondary pitch.

      • You know better than to cherry pick exceptions. The harder you throw, the better your chances to suceed.

        • Its one thing to pick exceptions, its another to state a truth using an example. I mean, you can’t list every player that’s ever played in the MLB.

          The MLB is littered with guys who could throw 91-93 or higher but couldn’t control the ball worth a damn. Purcey is one, Jo Jo Reyes is another. Many never actually make it.

          BFF is simply trying to say (I think) that velocity isn’t the be-all end-all. It helps, but a 92 MPH fastball thrown belt high with no movement gets hammered at the Major League level just like an 88 MPH fastball with no movement, and 92 MPH FB’s that can’t find the zone are walks just the same as 88 MPH walks.

    • Cecil has never been 91-93. He is 90-91 guy at his best. He only lost 1.4mph last year. The biggest problem was his changeup. According to Pitch f/x his CU was actually over 1mph harder last year than on 2010, and it had almost no drop to it. His changeup has always been his best pitch before last year.

      • He was a 94mph guy coming out of Maryland as a closer. They converted him and he became a 91mph guy. Now he’s an 87mph guy. The trend is disturbing.

        • Buck Martinez was on the Blair show this morning. He said that he put his «research people» to review Cecil’s starts in the past 2 years. Only once did he throw in the 94 range (near no-hit game vs. Indians).

          Then he said that Cecil usually sat in the 89-91 range in most of his other starts.

          Funny how he almost no-hit a MLB lineup throwing harder huh?

          Even funnier is that Martinez has «research people». By listening to some of his analysis, you would never guess he actually does any homework.

  9. Maddux is more the exception than the rule. I agree that velocity is less important than control/command, and having separation in speeds between your fastball and breaking pitches. But without the velocity, you need to have way better control. Cecil hasn’t shown that at all yet in his career. If he does, great, but he hasn’t yet.

  10. Why are people even mentioning Greg Maddux in a post about Brett Cecil. I understand the point that MLB pitchers can be successful with less-than-overpowering stuff, but really the comparison is pretty fucking ridiculous.

  11. Wilner was being incredibly dismissive to fans that were asking this question on Twitter yesterday. Sure, velocity isn’t the most important piece of the puzzle, but it is a piece. If the journos don’t know, then fine, but the “I don’t know but you’re an idiot for caring” mentality was a little fucking much.

  12. It’s not as if velocity and his ability to locate his FB low in the zone are unrelated. So far he has been unable to consistently locate his 87mph FB, there’s a pretty good chance that his loss of velocity is linked to his loss of command.

    • I have felt for a while that the loss of velocity was the cause or part of the cause of the loss in command. Throw hard, ball moves down. If you are throwing the ball less hard, then adjustments are needed to move the ball lower. But I have never pitched, so feel free to correct me.

  13. That was the problem for Cecil last year. Not only the velocity down, but everything he threw was up. It was fat pitch after fat pitch. No wonder he gave up so many homers. So far it sounds like nothing’s changed.

  14. I was at Spring Training last week when Cecil pitched. They post the speed of each pitch on the score board and Cecil was 86-88 with his fastball.

  15. The point of using Greg Maddux as an example was that he was the best mid eighties around and proved that hucking in the 80 could be done effectively.

    There have been lots of slow throwers other than Maddux that have been effective too. Frank Tanana, Jamie Moyer, Jimmy Key, Jeff Mussleman,re-invented Brett Saberhagen, Frank Viola, the list goes on.

    You can still be effective at 85 as long as you can take 8-10 mhp off your of speed pitches and throw strikes.

  16. Thanks for that “artist”. Obviously he was the best slow pitcher but the main point is, as has been pointed out many a time by Gerry Howarth and Tom Cheek, its the difference bteween your fastball and your offspeed pitch that matters.

    • Deception, change of speeds, and location.

      You’ve heard just about every colour guy admit that anyone can catch up to a ( ninety six MPH heater if he’s not changing speeds effectively. I am with on that for sure.

  17. I was at the game and didnt see him throw harder than 86

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