Hi everyone, hope everyone had a great weekend. My family is on the sick side, but we did get to go to a wedding that was really fun, so that was good. It was in Baltimore, Maryland, where I lived for 3 years, and it was fun to go out after the wedding and hit up some of my favourite old spots.
Speaking of Maryland, Jordan Bastian has a nice article up about Brett Cecil and his efforts to defy the odds and crack the Jays' starting rotation this season. Cito acknowledged that Cecil has an innings maximum of 170 innings this season (which is still too high for me, it's 50 more innings than last season) but doesn't plan to let that impact his filling out the rotation:
"We need pitchers here right now," Gaston said. "If we have to shut him down at the end of the year, we'll shut him down. But, right now, we're looking for pitching and if he's good enough to make this team, we're going to take him from here."
With his plus fastball, plus slider, and quality change (as well as a curve I haven't personally seen), and his ability to get K's and grounders at impressive rates, Cecil has all the talent the Jays could want, so it will be interesting to see his bid for the rotation. That said, his mechanics still need to be more consistent. Bastian's article also contained this fascinating little bit:
During his delivery, Cecil's pitching hand can be spotted as he takes the ball behind him, giving the hitter's a split second to try to figure out what pitch is coming. Behind the cage, it was a topic of discussion for Ricciardi and Blue Jays first-base coach Dwayne Murphy, but an issue that may or may not be an issue.
"I don't know," Ricciardi said with a shrug. "We'll see how the hitters do. They've got to hit it first."
In other spring training news, Scott Rolen is hoping that adjustments to his swing he made in September of last season will allow him to compensate for the loss of strength and range of motion in his shoulder and hit like he did prior to the shoulder issues that began when he collided with Hee Sop Choi in 2005. Nothing new there.
Also, first baseman Lyle Overbay is going to miss the first week or so of spring training games. I hadn't even heard this, but Lyle had three hernia surgeries in the offseason, so even though he's been working out, he's not ready for competitive games yet. Good to hear he's feeling good though.