Along with activating Brandon Morrow from the disabled list the Blue Jays have made another rotation move, surprisingly demoting left-hander Brett Cecil to Triple-A.
Cecil has struggled early on with a 6.86 ERA and 15/11 K/BB ratio in 21 innings spread over four starts, but he went 15-7 with a 4.22 ERA and 117/54 K/BB ratio last season and dropping the 24-year-old from the rotation is definitely unexpected.
Diminished velocity has played a big part in Cecil’s poor performance, with his average fastball clocking in at just 88.3 miles per hour after being at 90.1 mph last season.
He lost against the Yankees last night and afterward manager John Farrell talked about how Cecil’s attempts to “create a little additional velocity” led to control problems and elevated fastballs, so instead of trying to make mechanical adjustments on the fly in the majors they’ll let him do so at Triple-A.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.