March 8, 2012
Jays notes: Cecil needs more velocity
By Ken Fidlin, QMI Agency
Despite tossing two scoreless innings in his second game of the spring during Toronto’s 6-1 win over the New York Yankees, Brett Cecil was unimpressed with his outing.
“The ball didn’t feel good coming out of my hand and the balls were up. I can deal with a walk here and there but the main thing is to keep the ball down for the most part. When I needed the ball down, I got the ball down but definitely still have a little bit of fine tuning to do.”
Cecil threw 36 pitches, 23 for strikes, gave up one bloop single and one walk. He immediately went to the bullpen and threw 14 more pitches to get him up to 50 for the day. His fastball was clocked consistently at 87 mph, and topped out at 88. The velocity is not where he expects it to be but at this point in the spring, it’s somewhat irrelevant.
“(At 87) location becomes that much more important,” said manager John Farrell. “You just don’t have the same power to get away with mistakes. The fact he has such good secondary stuff, he can make a fastball at 87 look like something in the low 90s.”
Cecil is more than tired of the distress over his velocity.
“I did the whole worrying thing about it last year and I don’t want to do that this year. I know I can get guys out at 85 mph or at 92, it just depends on location. I can get guys out at this level, I don’t need a number to tell me that.”
The crucial element is that he locates his fastball in the right spots to help set up his secondary pitches.
“As we get deeper into camp, we’ll expect to see some adjustments made a little more readily,” said manager John Farrell. “His secondary stuff was good but it was just the fastball command that was lacking. When he tries to get a little more velocity, he gets a little spread out and the ball gets up.”
FLUKE ACCIDENT SIDELINES YANKEE
The Yankees got some bad news Thursday when it was learned that reliever David Robertson had sprained his right foot when he fell down a set of stairs while moving boxes at his home.
Robertson was one of the best relievers in baseball last year, with a 1.08 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings over 70 games.
“I’m concerned,” manager Joe Girardi said. “By the way I saw him walking today, it hurt him to walk. You assume that he’s going to be down a little bit of time even if everything comes back OK. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have time to get ready for the season, but you’ve got to start over a little bit, depending on how long he is out.
“They were empty boxes. They weren’t even heavy boxes,” Girardi said. “I told him, ‘Kick them down the stairs next time.’”
Jesse Litsch dropped by the Blue Jay clubhouse Thursday for some therapy on his pitching shoulder, after he caught an infection from a hypodermic needle that was supposed to relieve his sore shoulder.
Litsch is sidelined for at least six weeks and possibly longer after emergency surgery was required to clean up his infected shoulder.
“This was an intense pain I had never had before,” said Litsch of the discomfort he felt after receiving the shot from Dr. James Andrews, the famed orthopedic surgeon.
“I have a high tolerance for pain, so I kind of gave it a day and then I went to the emergency room. They let me go and then I was right back there that night.”
At that point Blue Jay physician Dr. Steven Mirabello took command of the case and within hours, they conducted emergency arthroscopic surgery to clean out the infection.
Litsch is wearing an antibiotic drip that will ensure that the infection stays gone for the next four to six weeks.
SNIDER RIPS ANOTHER HOMER
Travis Snider hit his second home run in the last two days, lifting his OPS to an even 1.000 for the spring. Logic would suggest that, a week into Grapefruit League games, he has a leg up on the vacant left field competition.
Since it’s only 15 at-bats, it’s hardly relevant but the Jays have said the decision on who will play left field is not going to be decided by numbers but by an overall sense of which candidadte — Snider or Eric Thames — is ready to take the job.
Snider has six RBIs and a couple of outfield assists to go with his two homers, while Thames has yet to put up any significant numbers.
“It’s going to depend on what kind of contact each player is making and on what kind of swings they are taking,” said manager John Farrell. “It won’t be decided on numbers alone.”
JAYS VS YANKEES
Blue Jays 6, Yankees 1
Arencibia and Snider each homered.
Cecil, Richmond each pitch two scoreless innings.
Lind 2-for-3, double.
Gose 1-for-1, spectacular catch in centrefield.