The Toronto Blue Jays may have been dealt a huge blow to an already depleted bullpen on Friday night, when reliever Brett Cecil was removed from the game with an apparent left groin strain. The Blue Jays are considering him day-to-day at this stage and will re-evaluate the lefty on Saturday before making a decision on a possible stint on the disabled list, according to an official team release on Twitter.
Brett Cecil was removed from tonight’s game due to left groin tightness. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow and is listed as day-to-day.
— Blue Jays-Official (@BlueJays) June 14, 2014
The late-inning specialist managed just 3 pitches against Orioles slugger Chris Davis before limping off the mound Friday night in Baltimore. According to David Wilson of MLB.com, he felt a tug on the second pitch of the at-bat, but came away in agony after delivering the third pitch to Davis.
Cecil was an All-Star in 2013, his first full season as a reliever, when he posted a 5-1 record, a 2.82 ERA, a 2.88 FIP, and a career-best 10.4 K/9 ratio. 2014 has been a bit of a bigger challenge however. Despite a 12.6 K/9 ratio and having not allowed a home run yet in 2014, Cecil’s ERA has increased to 3.51 this season.
While some of that has been due to an increase in walks (5.3 BB/9), Cecil has also been unlucky to some degree as batters are reaching him for a .406 BABIP. His 2.15 FIP and 2.85 SIERA are evidence that he’s actually pitched much better then his ERA lets on.
If Cecil heads to the DL, the Blue Jays will be down to just Aaron Loup from the left side of the mound. They could recall Rob Rasmussen from Buffalo to take his spot as well, but that may be short-lived with Sergio Santos due to return shortly. The Blue Jays could also opt to send Chad Jenkins back down in order to keep Rasmussen when Santos returns.
For now, it is a wait and see exercise, but given the usage of the Blue Jays bullpen of late, it isn’t likely going to take long for the team to determine if the disabled list is the best route or not.