It appeared last week that the Jays may have shielded struggling pitcher Brett Cecil from the media, failing to let anybody know that he’d been moved to a minor league game until it was already in progress. And with many members of the local media having already headed north, maybe they hoped they’d get away with it again, and not have to face the questions that have uncomfortably built over the course of camp, first about Cecil’s lacklustre velocity, then about his overall terribleness, and the tenuous grasp he held on his rotation spot– which for most of the spring was believed to be third in line, behind Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.
Not so, as reporters like Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, and others made it to Lakeland to witness the absolute catastrofuck of a day that Cecil had on Monday against the Tigers.
“There’s concern. There’ll certainly be discussion and evaluation and internal talks that will take place today and tomorrow,” said John Farrell, after Cecil left “a lot of pitches up over the plate; a lot of pitches found the middle of the plate.”
According to Kennedy, the manager “agreed with a reporter who suggested none of Cecil’s pitches were working.”
“While we don’t expect any pitcher to be in mid-season form,” Davidi quotes him as saying, “you get to that 30-inning mark where you’ve had enough repetition to get out there and not only repeat your delivery, but to command the baseball.”
“You’ve got to pitch to quality location consistently against a team with that kind of lineup and other types of lineups that we’re going to face night in and night out. Without swing and miss and without consistent location, days like that can happen,” Farrell said. “That’s where the concern is.”
Ahh, but Cecil– who sounds like he’s torched just about all the goodwill he’d earned through the intense off-season workout regimen that saw him come to camp down 40 pounds–was having none of it.
“I’m just happy that I finally got everything clicking on all cylinders, late in the second, third and fourth I felt like everything was there for me, and felt comfortable with what I was doing, there was no thinking going into it,” he told reporters.
That would be late in the second inning in which a Jhonny Peralta double-play bailed him out after allowing
six eight straight batters to reach base, with seven Tigers crossing the plate, including Prince Fielder and Delmon Young, who both homered.
The third inning would be the one in which he gave up a pair of singles, as well. A great jaerb!!!
“I feel great about the outing, I feel great about where I am right now and I’m looking forward to get the season started finally,” said Cecil, who was either in a complete state of shock, or simply lies as badly as it seems he now pitches.
“He said he only made ‘one or two’ bad pitches — the ones that ended up in the stands,” Kennedy adds.
Good fuck! I mean… shit. Like… I feel bad for the guy, and saddened to see the expectations fans once had for him shattered but… that’s some pretty fucked up right there. The Jays simply can’t open the season with him in the rotation and expect to be able to justify it with straight faces. Maybe he can work it out in time, or maybe he’ll play as a fastball-changeup lefty out of the bullpen, but right now… my God, this is untenable. And I’m pretty sure the outright denial is not helping.