Archive for the ‘Brett Cecil’ Category

colbrows

Joel Sherman of the New York Post, for some reason, is the first one to report this nugget, telling us that the Jays won’t be going to arbitration with Colby Rasmus:

The arbitration projections at MLBTR suggested $6.5-million for Rasmus, so… I guess that’s good for him?

If you’ve forgotten, the Jays have an internal policy under which they won’t negotiate one-year deals with players past the deadline for exchanging arbitration numbers, which happens to be today at 1 PM ET. If they’d gone beyond that, the two sides were either going to go to an arbitrator, or work out a multi-year extension. (Breaking the policy would be another option, I suppose, as well).

This deal doesn’t preclude them from continuing to talk about an extension, of course, but some folks out there thought it was possible that one would get done prior to today. Nope!

According to Sherman, Brett Cecil has also agreed to terms with the club, signing a $1.3-million deal to avoid arbitration, and it would be wholly surprising if we didn’t hear by the end of the day that Esmil Rogers has come to an agreement as well [Update: yep, $1.85-million], seeing as clubs and players alike hate the possibility of going to an arbitrator, because it can often become very contentious, with clubs doing literally all that they can to make the case that their player deserves less money than he’s asking for.

Rogers and Cecil were arbitration eligible for the first time this year, while this was Colby’s third and final time through the process. And I suppose now’s as good a time as any to not that next year’s first-time arbitration eligible players for the Jays will include Brett Lawrie and Steve Delabar.

edwinwrist

Today in not-terribly-surprising news– especially if you’ve listened to the podcast we just recorded, which… since I haven’t posted it yet, you haven’t– the Jays have shut Edwin Encarnacion down for the season.

Don’t believe me? Barry Davis of the Rogers-owned Rogers Sportsnet has the scoop on the tidbit from the Rogers owned Blue Jays from down at Rogers Centre.

As Drew noted on the aforementioned podcast that you haven’t heard, Edwin has been walking around looking like he’s in a little bit of agony lately, so… that’s not shocking. What is maybe a little bit shocking, though, was the tweet that followed from the Jays’ official Twitter account:

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twijm_week2_shirts600

It’s really surprising how much the Jays could be making off of player t-shirts, but maybe it’s a good thing that they are left in the fans’ hands, because some of these are gold. Ever since the debut of TWIJM a couple weeks ago, y’all have been sending us links a ton of shirts. It also helps that the Blue Jays subreddit is a goldmine for these types of things (amongst actual good baseball discussion). Here are the ones that myself, Stoeten and Zubes have found to be the best. As usual, if you see any cool Jays merch, send it to me on Twitter.

JAYS WIN! shirt: My favorite so far. This is from the same guy who made the Kawasaki shirts. Also good that he left out the face of the 3rd outfielder, because that carousel wouldn’t make for a consistent shirt.

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Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays

I’m certainly not suggesting that Brett Cecil is on the path towards developing a wipeout splitter, but in a strange twist, the former high-bonus 38th overall pick is following the career path of his new teammate: eight-year minor league veteran turned metal-elbowed Major League success, Steve Delabar.

Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun does some outstanding work in presenting the story, which explains that this off-season Cecil has been working with trainer James Evans, who developed the program that reinvigorated Delabar’s career, following what might have been a career-ending injury in 2009, largely by adding a few ticks to his fastball.

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Top Dog: Adam Lind, 29.2%
The Worst: Kelly Johnson, -9.8%
Top Arm: Jason Frasor, 10.7%
Impact AB: Lind 3-run HR, Bot 4th, 26.2%
Impact Pitch: Bourgeois RBI 3B off Cecil, Top 3 -17.9%
Highest Leverage AB: Davis 2-run single, Bot 4, 3.66
Highest Leverage Opp. AB: Bourgeois RBI 3B, Top 3, 2.00
Lineup Contribution: 40.9%
Pitching Contribution: 9.1%
Average Leverage Index: 0.89
Chart explanation

How about a hand for Staff Ace Brett Cecil and Major League First Baseman Adam Lind? It was a great day for second chances.

(WPA data courtesy Baseball Reference)
(Idea for a post game graph courtesy Lookout Landing)

When 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 from the teachings of Sal Fasano, suggested Brett Cecil was well on his way to becoming a slop-tossing junkballer. Unable to count on his fastball due to declining velocity and command, he would flip breaking balls and changeups in at an uncommon rate out of desperation.

The Brett Cecil we saw Sunday afternoon was not quite that, I am somewhat relieved to report. Both Cecil and manager John Farrell mentioned his fastball command a key after the fact. The fastball was indeed the pitch Cecil relied on most en route to five innings of five strikeout, one walk, two run ball. A win and everything!

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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.