After throwing a wild pitch and hitting a batter in a bases loaded situation against their American League East rival New York Yankees Wednesday, the Blue Jays have pulled Brett Cecil back from the closers role he was given in spring training.
The left hander’s fastball isn’t breaking 90 mph and Manager John Gibbons, who is already under pressure from Toronto media, declared, “He’s not sharp. I told him he could come in the seventh, eighth inning.”
Of course, it was the eighth inning when Cecil blew the game, but quotes aside, when the ball is handed to someone to close the game, it won’t be the former all-star.
After missing time in spring training with shoulder inflammation, Cecil declared he was ready to close at the end of spring training. He was singing a different tune today:
“I feel good but I’ve got to keep reminding myself that I’m about two weeks behind everybody else”
Wasted on the day was a strong start from knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who paired in the cold night with Russell Martin in their first regular-season game together. Dickey allowed one run on three hits in seven innings.
Gibbons didn’t declare who the new closer would be, maybe because of the ineffectiveness of his first choice, but when asked, he said Miguel Castro looked good so far and would get a shot at closing.
“If it turns out he’s the best guy to do it, this is who we are.”
Roberto Osuna cleaned up the mess left behind by Cecil on Wednesday getting Alex Rodriguez and Stephen Drew out to end the inning and the damage that cost the Blue Jays the game. Osuna figures to be a larger part of a reconfigured bullpen and leaves the Blue Jays relying on a lot of youth in their pitching staff.
Osuna and Castro are both 20 years old. Coupled with Daniel Norris and Aaron Sanchez starting games, the Blue Jays are hoping the kids are alright. Their chances in the American League East depend on it.