Oh my. Brett Cecil pitched the Jays’ penultimate Spring Training game today against the Detroit Tigers, and not to continue what seems like an eternal game of piling on Cecil– I’d like to see him succeed– but, um… it didn’t go so well.

I’ll leave it to Shi Davidi to elaborate…

The tweets stop there… for now. If something happens– if Davidi gets a report from the locker room, or Cecil starts coughing up more runs– expect an update.

He pitched the third inning, and came out of it unscathed, despite giving up singles to Alex Avila and Brennan Boesch, according to MLB Gameday. His line so far: 3IP, 11H, 9R, 7ER, 1BB, 2HR.

Comments (124)

  1. Ugh. Cecil might start in big league rotation, but the leash is really short.

    • Hopefully shorter than Reyes’ last year.

    • At this point why bother? It’s fairer to the player to tell him flat out that Drabek has beaten him for a spot than to pretend he’s in the major league rotation when he’d only be a seat warmer for a healthy Dustin McGowan anyways. Let someone else play spot starter and put Cecil in the minors where he belongs. He had a spot to lose and he managed to do just that.

  2. Brett Cecil throws weaker strikes than the Toronto Public Library

  3. Ya, but still.

  4. Does anyone have Roy Oswalts phone number?
    Not picking up?… shit.

  5. Cecil seems like he is pitching more and more like Brad Mills…

  6. Poor Brett…

  7. Starting to seem like maybe they’ll use Drabek as the #3 guy, then either Cecil or Laffey as the 5th starter who only gets to pitch once or twice before McGowan comes back and takes their spot. Probably makes most sense to do it that way.

    I’m intrigued by Farrell’s mention of all those guys from the New Hampshire rotation, though. Should be a fun few days.

  8. Is Cecil out of options? I have a feeling, he’s going to get a LOT of rope since he came to Spring Training, 30 pounds lighter.

  9. Start Hutch and Drabek on the bigs.

    • I would like to see maybe at least 20 career innings above A-ball from Hutchison before we go sliding him into the Majors.

      • i’m not sure if hutchison is ready or not… i’d probably lean toward jenkins right now. (assuming cecil gets demoted)

        i’m not sure the organization puts alot of weight on innings above A ball… alvarez only had 88ip at AA and he has impressed by all accounts.

        • I think Hutchison was being held to 3 innings per start, so that he could pitch later in the year on a call-up

      • I’m personally OK with Hutchison as the #5 starter to start the season. The Jays only have one start in April (I think) where they need a #5 starter anyway. Just call him up to start it, then send him back to AA or AAA. Romero-Morrow-Drabek-Alvarez-Hutchison/McGowan looks much better IMO than any rotation conjured up that involves Cecil in any form.

  10. Brett Cecil and Cole Hamels have the same stuff!

  11. Gavin Floyd anyone?

  12. The sad thing is that if Cecil can’t go to start the season we get his chuckling clone in Laffey. Basically we’re looking forward to Jo-Jo redux. So now we’re back to the same old question marks from last year. I really hope they just say enough with this soft tossers and let McGuire, Jenkins or Carreno start the year in the rotation. Right after that I hope there’s a jihad of sorts to purge all soft tossing lefties and righties from the organization.

    • Come on. Jo-Jo Redux? Hardly.

      • You’re right. Jo-Jo Reyes had way more potential than Aaron Laffey.

      • Sure Laffey might be a tad better, but it’s going to be more of the same shit imo. He hasn’t started for a reason the last few years and didn’t exactly look decent this spring. If the team is still working towards 2014 for really competing then let McGuire or Jenkins start.

        • The big difference is their position in the depth chart. Last year, Jo-Jo was 5th going into the year, and in-effectiveness and injuries pushed him into the #2/#3 slot at the start of the year. This year, Laffey is 7th in the depth chart and injuries / ineffectiveness may push him into 5th in the depth chart. Couple that with more minor league players will be available at some point this season, and you are likely to have much less than 20 such Laffey starts.

          • True he might be 7th on the depth chart but if he ends up spending similar time in the 5th spot for whatever reason the results are going to be same aren’t they?

        • Very true. If the Jays throw in the towel, then let’s use up the young talent rather than watching Dana Eveland 3.0 ( who was just DFA:d again)

      • It’s Aaron Laffey. He’s a bad, bad pitcher that should not be in a major league rotation. I’d much prefer to stick it out with Cecil, move Villanueva to the rotation, or even go with one of the AA guys.

        • Agreed. Cecil can’t blow up every game. I would rather waste starts on him than Laffey because AA will try to turn him into trade bait.

    • Carreno is already on the 40 man so he’s a logical candidate for a spot start not to mention he could easily be shifted to the bullpen where he looked really good last year.

    • I hate to break it to you, but Jenkins & McGuire are soft-tossing RHP.

      • low 90′s fb is softtossing now>?

      • Considering they break 90 on their fastballs consistently I’d hardly call them soft-tossers. Both can touch mid 90′s as well according to the scouting reports.

        • I haven’t read anything about Deck hitting 95 since college. I think both he and Jenkins generally work in the 89-91 range, which is fine because both profile as back end starters and both bring more to the table than Brett Cecil at this point.

          I bet Jenkins gets an april start.

          • How about we reduce the number of spare parts OFers until McGowan is back and instead carry Carreno, Jenkins and Hutchison and roll them out 2-3 IP each in the 5th spot rather than a traditional SP. Opposing hitters only see them once in a game so they’ll have the element of surprise and they can go all out. If any of them dominate, let them try for Cecil’s spot on a permanent basis. If they succeed mildly, it builds their trade value/provides valuable experience. If they shit the bed, it’s only April and they shouldn’t suffer from career-threatening confidence breaking. I know Cecil has deserved some amount of rope, but we gave him that… last year. He’s like our Adam Lind of our rotation, except he never had a fluke career season even close to Lind’s 2009.

  13. Dear God that’s not good!

    I think the only option is for him to start the season in the minors, clearly he’s not ready.

    Also, I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really don’t want Laffey to make this team. If it were up to me, and it should be, I’d probably go with McGuire and Drabek in the rotation until Dusty gets back, unless someone interesting is doesn’t make another team and suddenly becomes available.

    • McGuire to start in the Majors? That would just be fucking retarded…he has 1 season of pro ball under his belt.

      • Yes but he also has college experience and when he was drafted scouts identified that he was close to major league ready.

        Do you have a better suggestion? Laffey? I’m not convinced anyone give the Jays a better chance to win right now than McGuire.

        • McGuire might give them a better chance to win but he’s only pitched 20 innings above A ball and I doubt the organization is interested in rushing one of their better prospects.

          Chad Jenkins makes some sense for a couple of starts.

  14. I think Cecil could still be a decent pitcher in the NL West at a place like SD. Sadly, he can’t be a starter in the AL East on a team that wants to be competitive.

  15. Perez to start, Laffey to bull pen, Cecil to AAA.

    • Perez isn’t a bad call. The team seems pretty impressed with him this Spring. There’s always Villanueva too. Maybe he could make that 1 #5 start until McGowan is ready?

      • Carlos was great last year. With that being said I’d rather a LHP takes Cecil’s spot so we have LRLRR. (Drabek’s 5th)

        • If you call a 5.15 era as a starter good then we’re really in trouble.

          Carlos shined as reliever 1.60 era, lets leave him where he benefits the team the most.

          • Agreed. Villanueva is better suited in the pen.

            I wouldn’t mind me some Perez in the rotation. Who doesn’t love a latino lefty?

            Until McGowan is ready, which could be June, and until we get one of the kids ready (I would lean towards Carreno – already on 40 man), let Perez take Cecil’s spot. As much as I hate to say this, but even Laffey is more passable now than Cecil.

            Cecil gets my respect for working hard in the offseason but getting shelled with 86 mph heat is not going to cut it. Some triple A time is looming for him.

    • Perez will get shelled, i’ll call it now. He’s a bullpen arm.

  16. ummmm, not to rain on the cecil bashing pile-on, but small sample size much? and do we need an ace out of the 5th spot? or even need a 5th starter for most of April? Let’s give him a couple of starts to see if he can work this out (remember he’s dealing with weightloss etc.)… and maybe remember it’s APRIL 2nd! Last year at this time we were excited about Jo-Jo, not the opposite, and Drabek was going to win ROY and Cy honours. Let’s slow this train down some folks.

    • I am suddenly very concerned about the Jays rotation:
      - what if Henderson Alvarez isn’t as good as the reports are stating, this is a 22 year old guy with two pitches and 10 games of experience and we are expecting him to be the 3rd best starter on the team?
      - Drabek is the clear 4th starter? I love his stuff, but he really struggled last year.
      - Laffey or Cecil as the 5th starter is bordering on OriLOLes territory.
      - at least we can bank on Dustin McGowan being an ace once he comes back, according to Parkes and Stoeten.

      Someone please talk me off the ledge.

      • McGowan an ace according to Parkes and Stoeten? Where have you been over the last couple of weeks?? They put together 5 posts just to shit on the guy’s contract extension because there isn’t any reason to believe he’ll be worth multiple years.

        • I guess the sarcasm was lost in that comment.

        • According to Parkes and Stoeten, McGowan is done.

          I am hoping that Dusty can deflate the overblown ego that often permeates in these blogs.

          • the editorial stance on the extension has the capacity to diminish the value of the offenders opinions to that of Wilner when he stubbornly held his stance that the 2008 Rays would not make the playoffs. the result of Wilner’s poor judgment was that he hasn’t made a prediction with any conviction until just this year.

            i doubt that being on the wrong side of an issue will put a dent into Parkes’ ego, but Stoeten and Drew appear to have much more care bear in them.

            a reminder every fifth day in the comments section of McGowan’s and AA success would undoubtedly lead to Stoeten drinking alone more often with his “bartender friend” and Drew experiencing a loss of confidence much like Steve McQueen did at the end of the Cincinnati Kid. this would inevitably put all of his article submissions to Vice magazine in the “Don’ts” pile.

            book it!

      • There was and still are huge questions about the Jays rotation. Romero seems to be only lock and he’s due for regression according to his FIP. Morrow seems to have turned the corner but only time will tell on him and guys like Alvarez. As much as there is great upside there, unfortunately there’s a lot of downside too.

        • I’d say it’s more his very low BABIP from 2011 that indicates a regression this season. But balanced against Morrow who shows opposite numbers in every way from Ricky and I’m sure the two of them will combine for high 30s to mid 40s in wins.

      • You’re right. This could be a disaster if all 3 fail, but that shouldn’t happen.

        If this happens, we have to bring the kids up from Vegas & NH.

        When is Litsch supposed to be back?

    • “Let’s give him a couple of starts to see if he can work this out (remember he’s dealing with weightloss etc.)… ”

      He can do that in AAA

      When you have McGowan, Drabek, Carreno, Villanueva, Laffey, McGuire, Hutch and Jenkins competing for the 4th and 5th spot along with Cecil, I’m pretty sure you don’t need to give him a chance. Remember, after his dismal performance last year, he’s not a lock for a rotation spot. I wouldn’t be suggesting that Morrow, Romero or Alvarez go down to AAA because of two bad starts, but this is Brett Mr. 87 mph Cecil.

  17. I don’t have much faith in Cecil with his velocity this low.

    I’m a huge fan of most of what AA has done, but I really think this team could have used another starter this offseason. Even a mid to late rotation innings eater. An Edwin Jackson or something.

    I think this is probably and 85 to 90 win team, but the back end of the rotation is quite worrying.

    • Honestly with so many questions about the rotation 85 wins might be the ceiling for this team unless Drabek really steps up his game. Funny how we’re depending on Drabek now to solidify the back end of the rotation.

    • Many fans ncluding myself wanted a veteran starter on a 1 year contract in case the back 3 fell apart.

      We have to worry about Cecil & McGowan.

      Drabek seems to be ready to join the rotation.

  18. Holy shit that is some kind of awful…at least he helped heat up the DET bats – hopefully they lay a beating and a half on those Boston assholes before we get to face the back end of their rotation…

    I think AA and Farrell have been so adamant on not getting hung up on spring #’s that, like it or not, Cecil gets run out there in the #3 spot in Cleveland and for a few more turns unless he is horrid right off the bat…

    So are the Jays taking advantage of that weird off-day on Friday to get Ricky in at the end of the Boston series on his regular rest? I guess that means no #5 starter is needed untl the KC series?

  19. I’d like to see Hutchison and Drabek hold the fort until Mcgowan is ready to come back. Consider sending Cecil to the minors. Replace one of Hutch and Drabek with Mcgowan when he’s ready. Allow Cecil to have some time to figure things out, if he can, or consider trading him. It would have been ideal to have signed a mid-rotation starter for a 1year contract.

  20. He is just getting all those runs out of the way now before he starts the season.

  21. Whoever they throw in this mix be it Cecil, Drabek or Laffey, I absolutely don’t want to see them get trotted out there to lose like what happened to Jo-Jo last year. They’re weak in pitching and they need to get another starter in there as soon as they can. AA may have to go deeper into his pockets/farm than he’d like to, but everyone in the league knows that the Jays’ rotation is soft at the back end. I think he would have been better somewhat overpaying in the off-season because now I believe the price for a starter will be wayyyy higher than it would have been a couple of months back.

  22. Wilner said yesterday that they are going to be very very cautious with McGowan and he is out until May. If Cecil is indeed going to be sent down then we need one legimate option for number 4 and Drabek for number 5. This Laffey stuff is really annoying. The guy is a Brad Mills clone except Brad Mills actually had a good spring.

  23. According to the interview Farrell had with Buck and Pat during the telecast on Sunday, Drabek was already a lock for the rotation prior to this poor outing by Cecil. He was discussing how this year will be interesting with an additional power arms and then went on to describe Drabek’s stuff.

    • I still think we see Cecil make the team out of ST, but as the #5 rather than the #3.

      He gets one start, then gets skipped a turn, and maybe one more at the end of April. Depending on how he vs Drabek pitches, he might see AAA when McGowan comes back.

  24. Hey I was surfing around and I found Lind’s xBABIP in 2011 (expected BABIP based on batted ball profile)

    It was .327 which would have matched his 2009 BABIP. His line drive rate last year was the highest of his career.

    Reason’s for optismism??? Probably not.

  25. Me at the start of spring training. – “Yeah yeah, he’ll have it up to 91-92 by the end of spring training”

    Me half an hour ago – “Fuck.”

  26. If Jays are serious about winning they wont have Cecil pitch….

  27. PLAYOFFS!!!!1!!!1!

  28. To everlasting fuck with all of this. If we can dismiss Señor Travis at 24, and José for his “weak” (all-star) 2nd half, I am going to postulate a fucking anti-Cecil conspiracy here on the same strength of evidence.

    It is clear that the Jays have fucking quotas for their rotation, and unlike the case of Harvard and McGill, no amount of cocksucking by the kid’s mother is going to change it. The Jays’ quota guarantees only one place for an American-born WASP starter. Fuck the man in white, this is the real crime being practiced in TO.

  29. I’m shocked that the Jays didn’t hide Cecil for this game.

  30. According to Davidi on Twitter: Farrell on Cecil: “There’s concern”


  31. Well, revert back to last year and we do still have Villanueva who was very impressive in my eyes as a starter, you can send him for 5 IP easy in a spot start and expect a good outing and use Jannsen, Cordero, Santos to finish them.

    I would much rather see that in the 5th rotation spot for now until someone proves themselves.

    No one will step up if someone is given the job right away. Put them all down and see who performs in AAA/AA

    • 2nd person to say that about Carlos. He had a 5.15 era as a starter in the process of breaking down last year. A 1.60 era as reliever. There’s multiple options sitting at AA now without taking him out of his swing man role unlike last year. Let him pitch where he’s best – as a reliever.

      • Perez and CV both followed the same story…good starter #s for a while, fell off once they got seen, better fits in the pen. Villanueva could still be a viable short-term guy though.

      • Villanueva had a 4.12 FIP/4.48 xFIP as a starter last season. That’s way better than anything Aaron Laffey can manage.

    • Carlos V as a spot starter? OK, that’s better than Laffey

  32. I think this just emphasizes the fact AA blew it this off season. Should have gotten another arm. Cecil (who sucks and I “hate” as a Blue Jay) aside, the backend has looked weak all along and the only reason I assumed a trade or signing wasn’t made was because AA expected one of our AA or AAA pitchers to make the team. Maybe Hutch is that guy or maybe AA just fucked up bad?

    • Or maybe AA never promised a rose garden this year. Last year everyone wanted Lawrie out of of spring training. AA did it his way and so far so good. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. We have young talent and you’ll see it soon enough.

      • Farrell was right. He wanted Lawrie on the roster at 3B in April 2011. We would have been better off with Lawrie rather than E5 or Nix at 3B

    • your rational reminds me of the following…..


      • Really, you guys are of the opinion that AA should NOT have gotten another pitcher this off-season? You are in the minority on that one. So I guess you got what YOU wanted.

        Cecil is a complete bum and waste of time. Our minor league ptichers don’t have enough experience. No AA didn’t promise a rose garden this year but with the addition of the second wild card, he blew it by not getting another arm. His blueprint has not evolved with the reality of the new playoff format and the failure to get another arm is AA’s first real blunder.

        For the record, I LOVE AA and no one is perfect.

    • Very true. The starting rotation is a weak spot on the Jays, but good pitching costs so much money or prospects, AA didn’t want to pay the price.

  33. That Cecil is a problem, should be no surprize to anyone. The back-end of the rotation became a problem in December when Rogers decided to purchase the Leafs and forego any investment in the Jays. Now we wait and see, which is what so many DJF want to do anyway….you got what you wanted.

  34. Has it seriously come to a point where we are considering starting Aaron Laffey in the bigs?

    • I’d probably expect to see Jenkins before Laffey. Jenkins had the better spring, and is the most experienced of our AA prospects having had a full season in New Hampshire. Only reason Laffey would get consideration after a disappointing spring is if they’re happy throwing a few games, don’t see that really happening.

  35. This blog is beginning to attract some casual/newbie Jays fans…

    I can tell by the the ignorance in some of the comments…

  36. Heyman is saying Votto getting $200 million for 10 years.

    • Now he is saying the extension is 8 years for around $173 million. So if we traded for him this winter we’d be looking at giving him that much plus a ton of prospects to keep him after 2013. With Fielder you could have just signed him with just the loss of a first rounder next year for about the same money.

  37. I think Cecil needs to start super-sizing his meals again. And don’t forget the extra cheese.

    • The buffets in Vegas are fucking fabulous. If Cecil decides to go on a buffet bender, he can bring along Snider. Between the two of them, they should be able to knock out a few joints.

  38. FACT: Fat men throw hard. (Not actually a fact.)

  39. The jays would be stupid to give laffey a spot in the rotation. Have they learned nothing from jo-jo? I would much rather have cecil and his 87 mph fastball than laffey. Atleast Cecil is young and has some upside if he can ever regain the mysterious loss in velocity. I’d give cecil 2 or 3 starts and see how he fares before making any changes.

    • Its funny how many on this blog have absolutely never seen a pitcher throw a pitch this spring and yet hate him. The Jays have things called scouts.

      If we are seeing Laffey in the rotation to start the season, I won’t be happy. But at least I know that the scouting department have enough balls to recommend that Aaron Laffey be placed in the rotation. It might just mean that he’s the best that the Jays got.

      Ultimately, its Farrell and AA’s decision. By now, they have scoured hours of video and have talked to every fucking scout in the organization. Hell, even Paul Beeston has an opinion. For all I know, he forms his opinions by getting shitfaced at some Mexican bodega talking about WAR and BABIP with the bartender.

      Bottom line, its not the end of the world. Its a long season. Its not like the 5 guys who break camp will be in the rotation for the entire season. Its impossible to play 162 games with just 5 starters. The Jays will cycle 7 to 10 guys in the rotation before the dust settles.

      • Have you not seen Laffey’s career numbers? He got released twice last season. Maybe not jojo bad but hes not very good. I would hate for the Jays to blow games because the SP they have out there is crap just like jojo last season.

      • Don’t waste games in 2012 . We are not in a rebuilding year. Every game counts.

        I would rather see what Ceil can do tahn a perennial loser like Laffey

      • Just want to remind you how many times Jo-Jo was sent out to start last season. We didn’t win too many games when he pitched, but there he was, on the mound, every 5th day, getting ready to send (yet another) big fat one over the plate. I will not have a sense of humour about it if that shit happens again.

  40. Aaron Laffey’s going to be part of this rotation before long.

  41. I was the one harping loudest for another starter, but I wanted a number 2 starter. We have enough meat paddies to throw against the wall while GM AA waits for the right trade or for prospects to make a push.

    At this point, we have to give GM AA time. The number 5 pitcher will see only like one or two starts in April, right? I don’t care if some shitballer makes <5 starts until something better comes along. I just don't want to see the team fall out of contention early because the 4 and 5 starters are getting hammered. The schedule should help with this a lot and not take the backend of the rotation to the woodshed.

    • Number 2 starters don’t grow on trees. Its not like a McDonalds, where you can order a large cheeseburger, a fry, a shake and oh, I will take a number 2 starter.

      Ask the Yankees. They traded away their top prospect (which for us, would have meant someone like Lawrie) for Pineda. Now Pineda is on the DL for the foreseeable future. He could be gone until September.

      Darvish is the one that got away. Hard to fault the Blue Jays or AA as the posting process is a true and royal fucking ransom. Besides, AA knew that Darvish would want a 5 or 6 year deal as a minimum. AA was a fucking houdini in moving the Wells contract. I doubt he can pull that trick again. Hence, medium term deals are the new normal.

      • Speaking of tree growing, the Jays did have a number of pictures aside from Pineda (who wasn’t injured at the time of the trade and would have been great acquistion). AA could have signed, Oswalt. Buehrle, Garcia, Chen, and others but didn’t . Any of these guys would make us better than we are today. The AL East leaders are weakening and our window of opportunity is now. Wait at your peril, the Yanks and Red Sox will spend the $ if the Jays won’t.

  42. McGowan hurt. Cecil sucks. Gee, where are all the “glad we didn’t sign a good free agent starter or put in a top bid for Darvish” people now?

    Jo Jo is looking mighty good in comparison to the crap we’ll throw out there.

  43. God I love how this place implodes at the slightest appearance of instability.

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