Injuries keep piling up for the Blue Jays, especially with their pitching staff. With the most recent DL designation going to Brandon Morrow(15 days), the team has recalled Ramon Ortiz to take the mound once again. Ortiz gives great energy and effort but he lacks velocity and swing-and-miss stuff that would make a reliable starter . Still, a veteran like Ortiz should be pitching with the Blue Jays, but I believe it should be in long relief.
There is a lefty sitting in the Blue Jays bullpen that in 2010 went 15-6 (Won 12 games against the AL East) with a sub 4 ERA and is only 26 years old. At what point will Alex Anthopoulos give Brett Cecil another well deserved shot to start a MLB game?
Understanding that the numbers listed above were from three years ago, and keeping in mind that Brett Cecil had not performed well as a starter in 2011 or 2012, what should make this option viable is looking at the body of work this year. Brett has performed very well this year in relief. He has posted a 1.91 ERA through 28 innings., while striking out 33 batters and only walking 9. These numbers have shown that Brett has secured himself in the bullpen as a shutdown reliever.
A couple of things to keep in mind;
- Brett Cecil is only 26 years old so his best pitching years should be in front of him.
- Brett’s velocity has been much better this year and been key to his success. His fastball has been sitting around 94 MPH which is a nice surprise after the velocity was down in 2011 and 2012.
- In general, a starter is more valuable to an organizations success then a reliever. The more innings you eat up, the more valuable you are to the organization.
- If Brett were to start, he would still need to build up his arm strength so he would probably be able throw 50-65 pitches. Ortiz would be a great pitcher to compliment Brett out of the pen until he regains his starter strength.
Blue Jay fans continue to look for something to get excited about and while I am sure letting Brett come out and start games will not give them this immediate excitement; if he were to succeed, fans would be excited about the team finally winning.