Brett Cecil cleared to throw after shoulder problems

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Some potentially good news from Blue Jays camp, where left-hander Brett Cecil is expected to resume throwing Tuesday after previously being shut down with shoulder soreness last week.

Pitching coach Pete Walker told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Toronto Sportsnet that Cecil “feels good” and the Blue Jays believe he was merely suffering from some minor rotator cuff inflammation.

Barring a late addition to the Blue Jays’ bullpen Cecil is in line to begin the season in the closer role after back-to-back fantastic years as a setup men in which he threw a combined 114 innings with a 2.76 ERA and 146 strikeouts.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.