Archive for the ‘Rotation Battles’ Category

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.

Like a Syd Barrett acid trip gone into “Interstellar Overdrive” (OK, I’ll stop), this Gavin Floyd business refuses to subside, with my ‘Merkin friend, Scott Merkin of WhiteSox.com contacting ChiSox GM Kenny Williams for a tasty non-denial denial.

“I am not looking to move him,” Williams said in response to an email. Well then, I guess that’s settled, huh?

Meanwhile, Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com debunks the innuendo at his North of the Border blog with some exasperation. “Why this is actually news, I’m not sure,” he writes, “but since every time one of these reports surface south of the border it garners a lot of attention it becomes necessary for the Toronto media to respond in some way.”

Chisholm, quite fucking rightly, explains that “the fact that these reports are coming out now should suggest nothing other than that Anthopoulos is once again doing his due diligence.”

He feels that the rotation is essentially set– with both management’s and John Farrell’s love of Henderson Alvarez cementing his spot, and Dustin McGowan’s lack of options cementing his, leaving Brett Cecil as the biggest question mark, with Kyle Drabek somewhere behind him. Beyond that the Jays depth is mostly in terms of prospects, who might not be ready to help if injury or poor performance derails one of the main six. “Anthopoulos will continue to monitor the market for another starter because it’s just the smart thing to do,” Chisholm writes, “but pulling the trigger on a deal when there’s still three weeks to go until Spring Training is another matter entirely.”

Superficially the Floyd stuff maybe fits in with what we’ve been hearing out of Dunedin, but the rumours of Brett Cecil’s demise have surely been exaggerated. Yes, the velocity in his first spring start wasn’t where anybody wanted it to be, but it’s too soon to say it’s definitely going to say that way, and the Jays will probably give him an excess of rope this spring, because, as Gregor points out, they were quite pleased with the dedication he showed over the winter, after coming to camp having lost 35 pounds.

Cecil starts this afternoon in a split squad game against the Twins, according to the AP. Should be interesting…