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.