Brett Cecil dealing with rotator cuff inflammation

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Blue Jays manager John Gibbons recently pegged Brett Cecil as the favorite to begin the season as the closer, but Barry Davis of Sportsnet reports that the southpaw is going to be shut down for the next few days due to rotator inflammation.

Cecil was scratched from his scheduled appearance yesterday and an MRI showed the inflammation. As of now, he’s hoping to resume throwing on Tuesday and get into a game by the end of next week. However, it will all depend on how he feels in the coming days.

Cecil’s situation could have a big impact on what the Blue Jays decide to do with young right-hander Aaron Sanchez. The 22-year-old made his major league debut last year and posted a 1.09 ERA and 27/9 K/BB ratio in 33 innings out of Toronto’s bullpen, but he’s being stretched out as a starter this spring.

Cecil, 28, compiled a 2.70 ERA and 76/27 K/BB ratio in 53 1/3 innings over 66 appearances last season.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.