Brett Cecil: Blue Jays' Andy Pettitte?
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
|Toronto Blue Jays' Brett Cecil warms up against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius)
DUNEDIN, Fla. — Brett Cecil looked relaxed, confident and controlled in his crisp five innings of work Monday in a minor-league game against the Philadelphia Phillies Class-A team.
Those attributes were the hallmark of former Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte and that is the type of pitcher that pitching coach Bruce Walton believes Cecil can become.
“I think he’s doing it right now,” Walton said. “This is his fourth game and I think you see good command and good control of his game. That’s the next step for Cecil, controlling the game, kind of like a Pettitte, how he controlled that whole gamut and I think you see Cecil doing it already in spring training.”
Walton said he saw flashes of that trait in Cecil last season
“He started getting it and he just got better and better every time out,” Walton said. “Every once in a while we’d go south in some innings that caused us problems — first and second and nobody out and he’d try to power through it rather than pitch through it. Now we’re at that point where we’re one pitch at a time, even if we’re in trouble, second and third and nobody out, we just make pitches and that’s what Cecil’s done all spring training.”
Cecil got his work in a minor-league game as the Jays had the day off but the Jays want him to keep to his regular schedule of starting every fifth day. Although it was Class-A, Walton believes it was ben eficial.
“We’re just climbing up to 80 pitches, five innings and he took it very seriously and got some good work in,” Walton said. “He got a lot out of this today. He got his pitch count up where we needed to get to and we worked on some pitches. We worked on some back door sinkers to left-handers and did some things we normally wouldn’t do in the other game (regular spring training game). We have that opportunity here rather then there.”
WOODY RETURNS: Veteran utility infielder Chris Woodward, who played with the Jays from 1999-2004, is back with the organization after being signed to a minor-league deal. Woodward, 34, will likely open the season at triple-A Las Vegas and serve as back up insurance for the big-leage club.
BACK AND FORTH: The Blue Jays couldn’t work out a deal with the Tampa Rays for LHP Cesar Cabral, who they claimed on waivers on Saturday, so they put him back on waivers and he was claimed back by the Rays on Monday.