Blue Jays Closer: Brett Cecil Out, Miguel Castro In?
After last night’s bullpen collapse, the Blue Jays look to be altering the plans they had for the back end of the bullpen. Brett Cecil will lose his “closer” title and be used earlier in the game. This could open the door for 20 year old rookie, Miguel Castro.
Considering the performance that Blue Jays fans witnessed last night, this move doesn’t really come as a surprise. Cecil gave up a wild pitch, an intentional walk, and a hit by pitch in his outing against the Yankees on Wednesday. Now, he cannot be entirely blamed for the lead vanishing last night as Aaron Loup also had a miserable night at the office. But, needless to say, that is not the type of performance needed from the guy who is supposed to come in and shut the door on opponents. Instead, he picked up the blown save.
Cecil had battled shoulder inflammation in the spring and apparently has not completely built up his strength. According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the result is a dip in velocity.
While the club is waiting to “come around”, Cecil will be used earlier in games. For how long that is remains to be seen. Perhaps it is just a matter of Cecil building up his strength. The club will certainly hope that is all it is.
Toronto Blue Jays
In the mean time, they will consider all options, including the possibility of using 20 year old Miguel Castro. There certainly could be other options than going with the inexperienced flame thrower. The bullpen houses guys like Colt Hynes, Marco Estrada, Todd Redmond, Aaron Loup…you get the idea. All of these options are fine for limited or regular roles in a bullpen. Loup pretty much took himself out of the running anyway. But, if you look at the options, Miguel Castro is clearly the better option. His swing and miss stuff, his velocity, his ‘no fear’ approach all make him a better choice. While Roberto Osuna offers similar qualities, Castro is the likely the choice.
Or, has it been this way all along? Was Brett Cecil really expected to become a closer? He has a wicked curveball, yes. But, does he have the stuff? The velocity? Or, did the Blue Jays anoint him the closer because it made sense at the time? What other option did they have? Perhaps putting Cecil in the closer’s role was, as our Justin Jay commented “setting him up to fail”?
But now there appears to be a better option. Most everyone considered Castro a starter. But, a while back, GM Alex Anthopoulos began pushing the bullpen idea. And, it has worked. If we include Spring Training, Castro has looked very good. He’s not been perfect, but pretty close. As mentioned previously, he’s got the “goods” to be a closer. Perhaps the one question mark is his experience. This can be mitigated by his toughness and stuff combined with the presence of Russell Martin behind the plate.
For the time being, the club will probably go with a closer by committee. At this point the Blue Jays are not ready to just hand over the role to anyone. It’ll need to be earned. Like last night, they’ll probably play the situations and percentages. But, with them being very open about giving more chances to Castro, we should not be surprised to see him take on the role fully some time soon. As I argued earlier today, they should have stuck with Castro last night. Perhaps, they’ll do so more and more in the coming weeks.