Welp. This is a thing.

So Brett Cecil, after what can only be considered a successful run in the minor leagues, is back in bigs. Cecil made 10 starts between New Hampshire and Vegas, striking out 40 with only 14 walks in 49.1 innings. Only two home runs surrendered, which can only be a positive thing, right?

More than any other pitcher, fans and experts alike exhort Brett Cecil to ‘get the ball down’ in the zone. Usually it’s empty banter, something people say when they can’t think of something better. But for a pitcher like Cecil — he of the vanishing velocity — it seems a legitimate concern.

Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star wrote about Cecil this week, travelling to Vegas to speak with the Jays lefty. While his velocity remains in the upper 80s, Cecil seems to have worked on his sequencing during his time in New Hamsphire, working closely with current Fisher Cats manager Sal Fasano.

Fasano, a former catcher, worked with Cecil on his pitch selection strategy coming up with different ways to attack both left-handed and right-handed batters. Cecil said he had never thought about those kinds of strategies before and he’s seen a marked improvement in his pitching.

Kennedy also notes Cecil adjusted his delivery to create more deception, which tells us all we need to know about Brett Cecil at this stage of his career.

Cecil is now a full-blown junkballer, throwing soft trash up in any count. Pitching backwards and just doing what he must to keep hitters off-balance. Not a bad way to make a living except the margins for error are razor thin. A start against the Phillies on Sunday isn’t the worst re-introduction to the bigs. They are hardly an offensive juggernaut and might provide a soft landing spot for Cecil.

As for Drabek…I guess wait and see? It will be interesting to determine when he was actually hurt. Was Wednesday the first time or the worst time? Has he been battling this for weeks? While you never want to see anyone hurt, at least an injury might help explain away his awful run on the mound for the last six weeks or so.

Comments (97)

  1. Back when I was still optimistic about this team, one of the things I told myself was that at least Cecil wasn’t on the mound this season.

  2. Cecil B Demented.

  3. Not a good thing to hear. Feliz on Texas also had a “strain” a few weeks ago. Hopefully Kyle’s doesn’t require more surgery.

  4. Happy Father’s Day to all those fans coming to the game Sunday. You picked a great game to see.

    • This is exactly what I thought. Maybe I’ll just send my kids to the game with their grandparents and stay home to get drunk with the wife.

    • Holy cow. The weather will be nice, the dome will be open and JB and EE will hit home runs and Rasmus will get 3 hits and they will win it for the hometown crowd. What a bunch of loser bandwagoners here.

      • Bandwagon fan : Anyone who claims they are a “fan” of a particular sports team, even though they had no prior support for/interest in the team until that team started winning.(Blue Jays haven’t won shit)

        Bandwagon fan: Switches support to whatever team/game/allegiance/belief happens to be successful at the time. (not successful)

        Whether you like it or not, a fan who complains about losing, or a fan who complains about ownership; or even a fan who complains about people complaining… we are all fans.

        Mine was a little joke, but anyone on this site is a Jays fan.
        There’s no bandwagon fans here or anywhere for the Jays. They actually need to start winning for casual fans to start watching them or others to switch teams to become…. bandwagon fans.

        Maybe 30 games in there were bandwagon fans. Now sitting 63 games in they’re gone. If anyone is on this site strictly a Blue Jays blog, reading up on the Jays and their losing ways they’re not bandwagon fans.

        A Team Sports Fan is someone who watches their team play and wants them to win. Everyone in here fits under this to me…. even Grouchy.

        • I just don’t understand how being pessimistic is part of being a fan. I’m not saying you have to be optimistic. Or like every player. But to imply they will lose on Father’s Day and it will be shitty, etc., is just sad. I sure don’t think Cecil is a pitcher for a playoff team, but I’ll at least root for the guy on Sunday and I’ll still enjoy the game for all the other players I really like, like Bautista, Rasmus, LAwrie, etc.

          • I agree… fan of baseball in general.
            I plan on watching both games this weekend and if they lose, it doesn’t matter…. I’ll continue to watch.

        • Very well said. Fans should be allowed to criticize the team’s players, coaches, organizational philosophy etc.

          Mccowan on PTS is mad at Rogers for not being honest about payroll.

          It’s quite a heated discussion. Mccowan wanted Fielder. Brunt wants Darvish. Drabek may need Tommy John surgery.

          • I expect fans to be retarded enough, but for McCowan to not understand that Fielder wasn’t coming here no matter the offer is inexcusable.

            Darvish is a different story, but we’re just like every other team in that regard, 100m risk is not something you can shit on an organization for not jumping at.

  5. Great pitching depth we have eh.
    Brett Cecil… come on down.(Cue, the Price is right music)
    (now cue the price is wrong bitch replies, In Happys voice)

  6. This isn’t even a downgrade. Say what you want about Cecil, but he’s at least experienced major league success (2.6 WAR season in 2010) and can actually throw strikes at this level. Drabek hasn’t and can do no such thing.

    I don’t know what they’re going to do about Drabek, but he clearly wasn’t showing improvement once again this season (in fact, his 2012 was almost identical to his 2011 in terms of its shittiness). He looked all right through the spring and his first two starts, but then fell back into his same old patterns.

    • The problem with Cecil is he lost 5-6 MPH on his Fastball from his 2010 season. He was sitting 93-94 then.

      Last year he was lobbing 88mph Meatballs over the middle of the plate which were getting destroyed.

      I’m still interested to see if hes figured things out in his AA/AAA stint this year though. If his control is good he can still be effective.

      • Cecil has never thrown 93-94 as a starter in this league. The average velocity on his FB was 90.1 in 2010, it was 88.5 last season. His biggest problem in 2011 was leaving the ball up in the zone and having hitters crush his pitches over fences. It would surprise me if he’s completely rectified that issue, but I’ll still take that over a guy who can’t even throw his pitches over the plate at all.


    • Honestly, this is probably gonna sound dickish, but I have no issue if Drabek, Thames & Lind have career ending injuries ASAP.

      That way at least management/ownership KNOWS they can’t hope for all the stars to line up so these guys can have productive major league careers.

    • I’m starting to wonder if Drabeks arm is strong enough to eat inings.
      Drabek get’s off to a great start and then shit’s all over it… two times now.

    • Have to start to wonder if the elbow wasn’t a problem for the last month or so through his first 9 starts he had an ERA of 3.27. The last 5 he had an ERA of 8.52. He was a very nice part of the Jays early seasons success so I think we’re being a little blase about Cecil replacing him going forward. Will Cecil be better than the Drabek of the last 5 starts? Most assuredly. Will he better than the Drabek of the first 9 starts? Unlikely.

      I also wonder if the renewed use of the cutter in May and June was part of the problem. He doubled the use of the cutter in May over his use in April (44) and was on pace to surpass May’s (78) totals in June (56).

      I remember management had mentioned at various points they didn’t want him to use it as much and low and behold look what’s happened.

      • Strand rate in April: 89%.

        Strand rate in May: 69%

        Strand rate in June: 60%.

        The ERA was bound to go up even without this type of regression. If he was hurt before…fine.

        • Yes the strand rate was high but his WHIP was a very respectable 1.26 so that strand rate could be a bit misleading just as the high WHIP of 1.73 in May backed up by a low strand rate in May skews things.

      Gavin Floyd CHW 13 13 76 80 49 48 23 72 4 7 0 0 0 5.63

      Fullmer Fan here are the stats on the guy you wanted the Jays to trade Drabek and Gose for. YOU KNOW PITCHING!!!!!!

      • I don’t remember ever specifically saying to trade Drabek and Gose for Floyd, but Gavin Floyd would actually be the 2nd best starter in this rotation right now. And a bad start to his season doesn’t take away what he’s done in the past. There’s little reason to think he won’t resume pitching like the 4 WAR pitcher he is.

    • Often overlooked is that Cecil is still among the younger pitchers on the 40 man roster (http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=tor). We perceive him as a vet, but he was thrown into the Major League starting role as a youngster. He’s only a year older than Drabek, for instance. So maybe it’s not so surprising that he’s had his ups and downs in his young career and maybe doesn’t deserve the vitriol he is receiving.

  7. With RC’s juiced up speed gun, I’ll be sitting 84 on my fastball! Watch out Phillies!

  8. Supposedly Cecil is throwing in the low 90′s again, with the explanation being that it took him some time to get used to being in better shape…whatever the fuck that means.

    I guess we’ll see. If it’s the same old Cecil he’ll fit right in with our homer-prone rotation!

    • It was just one of those things that changes with being in shape, every time guys I’d windup, I could see my dick. I didn’t no what to do.
      Too Soon

      • Just read it…not really funny. It sounded funnier in my head with Brett’s voice.
        Dude has a hot wife though… actually I might mean Frasor… not sure.

    • I totally know what you’re talking about, after I started working out 20 minutes a day, it totally threw my mechanics off, and I haven’t been able to adjust in 2 and a half years now.

      • Please Adam I asked you all the time to go with me to the gym, all you’d ever say to me “is I don’t work out”. Lind you look at who’s getting on the first flight from vegas to Toronto… me bitch… start working out… in life.
        Signed Baby Face Cecil

        • Again not funny… But what was the reason Lind gave on why he wont workout.?
          That was funny… don’t remember though.

      • At least you had the foresight to do it after signing a contract extension!

      • I’m really going to try hard to keep the weight off… keep me away from Cordero and Oilver… boys like to eat and Please don’t call Lunchbox up.
        I’m fine up here for a while, just keep me away from a blender… Too soon.


  9. Wish we could see Cole Hamels vs Cecil this weekend.

  10. Maybe someone can teach Cecil how to throw a knuckleball. Then that 84 mph fastball would look scary.

    • That’s what I suggested when he originally went down with injury in March/April. Look at R.A. Dickey, the man is throwing like a fiend. If Cecil is really terrible this stint, I say let’s look at converting him to a knuckleballer.

  11. Yeah. Just glancing through Cecil’s stats from his ‘bad’ year: 4.73 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 6.3 K/9, 2.07 K/BB … then compare them to Drabek’s numbers from this year: 4.67 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 1.00 K/BB.

    Even if we get something like the 2011 version of Brett Cecil, at worst it’s probably going to be a lateral move from Drabek. At best, maybe he’s learned to pitch better with his decreased velocity.

    This swap may have happened anyway, in a couple weeks if Drabek didn’t get his shit together.

    • If Cecil isn’t getting it over 90 MPH he’s probably not more than a back of the rotation starter in the ALE. And he has to keep the ball down to be able to do this.

      That said, there’s nothing wrong with a cheap left-handed #4 starter. He’s probably just not going to be the #2 starter people envisioned as he was moving through the minors.

      • Yeah. If Cecil has be a decent #4 starter at this point, I think the Jays would take it.

        • Kinda sucks they didn’t trade him the same winter they traded Marcum. Cecil was probably worth more than Marcum at that point because of his age, left-handedness etc.

          But it woulda been pretty hard for AA to trade both Marcum and Cecil in the same offseason.

    Gavin Floyd CHW 13 13 76 80 49 48 23 72 4 7 0 0 0 5.63
    Fullmer Fan here are the stats on the guy you wanted the Jays to trade Drabek and Gose for. YOU KNOW PITCHING!!!!!!

  13. I agree with James.

  14. How about Sal MuthaFuckin Fasano… This guy is like AA’s secret moustachioed double agent in New Hampshire. Love the stories about this dude. How long ’til he’s up in Toronto or poached by another org?! What a beauty.

  15. My three favorite days of the year.

    1. Openind day for baseball.
    2. My birthday.
    3. The last day of Hockey Central at noon!

    That day is today!
    You know what this means?


  16. Cecil starting in the big leagues again….

    Yup this season is officially in the tank.

    • Replacing a guy who walked as many as he struck out, and couldn’t get through 5 innings.

      The Morrow injury is potentially season derailing … Cecil replacing Drabek? Probably a wash at worst.

      • Romero is pitching as a slightly above slot number two, Morrow could be done but even when healthy he is inconsistent at best, the other 3 slots were just three kids being forced to develop ahead of schedule or in Drabek’s case just too much pressure. Cecil is shitty, I dont give a fuck what he did in the minors, he’s still shitty and probably always will be shitty. This season is done because of all those factors.

  17. The Knobbler’s got a rumour! From Rotoworld:

    Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that the Blue Jays are “particularly interested” in Justin Morneau, but so far the Twins don’t seem interested in trading him.
    Knobler also notes that teams are wondering whether the Twins would be willing to deal Josh Willingham, but at this point it doesn’t appear they’re ready to part with either player. Morneau has hit 10 homers and driven in 33 this season, and he holds extra appeal to the Jays because he’s Canadian. But, he’s also batting just .241 with a .313 OBP, and teams still have his previous concussion issues in the back of their minds. The Twins might just be better off keeping him and his $14 million salary for next season.

    • I wouldn’t put much stock in it simply because little if anything that US reporters write about the Jays turns out to be true with AA in the front office.

      IMO with his huge salary and injury concerns they Jays can work with what they’ve got and get similar production without taking on a huge salary and giving up prospects.

  18. The Knob-gobbler now saying the Jays asked the Twins about Morneau.


    Doesn’t mean shit since it’s unsurprising and it’s last week’s news, but still interesting.

    • Well … I guess I’d probably rather see Morneau try to figure his shit out than Lind..

      • Agreed. Sure, Morneau may be a few years older, but at least he’s pretty much otherworldly when he’s healthy. The thought of him playing in a division with 4 severe hitters parks is pretty boner inducing too.

    • suggest you re-read the last 2 paragraphs:

      “And while a source said that Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos called to ask about Morneau, one rival executive said that means little.

      “I like Alex, but Alex calls about everyone,” the executive said.”

  19. Good luck to you, Cecil. Until you shit your pants in 2011, you seemed like you could be a productive contributor on a major league rotation. We’ll see what your second act holds.

  20. This could lead to drabek being shut down for at least 6 weeks right?

  21. The more bespectacled pitchers on this staff the better! Eric Gagne style!

  22. Cecil should sport a fasano-esque moustache in tribute.

    the baseball gods demand it.

  23. According to wilner: drabek will go to Dr James Andrews for a second opinion on his injury

  24. Ligament tear for Drabek, apparently. I’d imagine that’s the last we’ve seen of him this season.

    • Slight tear. A second Tommy John is not out of the question. Looks like Drabek is done for the year, if not longer.

      • A sprain is actually a tear to begin with. How much is going to determine whether he needs surgery or not.

  25. Wow, talk about your upside, Cecile is back. Remember when he was a rookie, ohhh, he had better stuff the Morrow (a pitcher that used to pitch for Toronto too). Cecile was going to be at least a #2 starter – yeah, a lefty flame-thrower with junk that would tie any batter up in knots. Well, well well…calling all you upside talent talkers out now. You bitch, complain, and demean the character of those who want to make trades to improve this team, but you are no where to be found now. Go slither back under the rock you crawled out from you impudent pieces of snot

  26. mlb needs to contract. there isnt enough pitchers to go around. i would like to know the stats for the last 25 yrs of pitchers hurt more than 1 month. starters and relievers split of course.im not lazy, i just dont know how to get stats properly.

  27. Fuck, all these injuries are depressing. Well, atleast Ben Franciso will be back soon!!!! AA’s big winter acquisition!! Farrells probably getting hard ons thinking about slotting him in that 5th spot in the lineup.

    • LOL! Mccowan said the Jays clubhouse is depressed & AA has to go get a guy to help.

      • I’m not sure what’s dumber. McCown acting like he has an insight into the clubhouse from his chair, or you for being dumb enough to believe him.

        I think the latter.

  28. Klaw said at the end of his wed baseball today podcast that drabek is overthrowing like most teenagers in his last few starts, which was a giant red flag. Klaw continued to say that drabek is gonna be hurt very soon if he keeps it up.

  29. Hopefully Drabek gets a “strike throwing” ligament this time.

    • bwahahahaha

      • Better blog Some habits are good for you and orehts are not. The same is true for your blog. Some of your blogging habits, meaning those things you do repeatedly, are good for you and your blog’s growth and improvement while orehts are distractions that stop you

  30. [...] the Jays announced it was Brett Cecil coming up to make Brandon Morrow’s start on Sunday, I wrote that a new perspective on sequencing, gleaned [...]

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