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The season that was: Brett Cecil

A look at Brett Cecil’s 2015 season.

ALCS - Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Four Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

I keep hoping for some Blue Jays news.

Coming into 2016, Brett had 3 straight terrific seasons after being moved to the bullpen.

He had been amazingly consistent, with ERAs of 2.82 (2013), 2.70 (2014) and 2.48 (2015). Other than slow starts in a couple of the seasons, and more than his share of kitchen related injuries, Brett was excellent for us.

In 2015 he didn’t give up an earned run in the second half of the season. We were hoping that would carry over into this season.

Year   Age W L  ERA  G GF SV   IP  H ER HR BB SO ERA+  FIP  SO9
2016    29 1 7 3.93 54  8  0 36.2 39 16  6  8 45  110 3.64 11.0
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He had 9 holds and 4 blown saves.

Baseball Reference had him at a 0.3 WAR. FanGraphs 0.4 WAR, making him worth $3.6 million to the Jays.

Brett pitched in 6 playoff games, 4.0 innings, 0 hits, 0 earned, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts.

He had a 3.64 FIP and 2.87 xFIP.

Batters had a BABIP of .344, up from .280 last year.

Compared to 2015, Brett’s strikeout rate was lower (28.7%, down from 32.7) and his walk rate was down too (5.1%, down from 6.1).

His line drive rate was way up (28.0%, up from 19.0, likely why his BABIP was up so much), ground ball rate down (42.0%, down from 51.6) and fly ball rate was about the same (30.0%, from 29.4). As you likely know, more of his fly balls left the park (20.0%, up from 10.8).

He was better against LHB (.258/.310/.364), than RHB (.278/.318/.481).

Brett was much better at home (2.41 ERA, batters hit .236/.286/.292), than on the road (5.50 ERA, batters hit .301/.342/.562).

Batters hit .325/.378/.500 with RISP against him.

And he was much better in the second half (3.18, .221/.272/.372) than the first half (5.14, .339/.375/.508).

Brett by month:

  • April: 5.79 ERA in 9.1 innings, with 9 k, batters hit .350/.400/.500
  • May: 0.00 ERA in 1 inning, batters hit .500/.500/.500
  • June: 0.00 ERA in 1 inning, .000/.000/.000
  • July: 6.75 ERA in 8 innings with 9 k, .333/.371/.576
  • August: 3.12 ERA in 8.2 innings, 12 k, .188/.257/.375
  • September: 1.04 ERA, 8.2 innings, 14 k, .161/.188/.258

He had a rough start, then got hurt (not a kitchen injury this time), and finished the season pitching much more like Brett Cecil.

I’d imagine that, if he hadn’t missed the two months with the ‘lat muscle tear’, he likely would have likely brought his ERA back into the range we had grown used to, over the past few years.

I’ll miss him, but, if the Jays find a lefty that can fill the hole he left us in the pen, I’ll get over it. Of course, they might be hard pressed to find a lefty that is as good against RH bats as lefties.

I think a four-year contract for Brett is more than I would have been comfortable in giving him. I know you have to overpay free agents, but it seems like a lot of money to pay someone that might average 55 innings a season.