Brett Cecil
Brett Cecil
32-Year-Old PitcherRP
St. Louis Cardinals
2018 Fantasy Outlook
The lefty took the ball a career-high 73 times in 2017 and totaled 67.1 innings, his most since his days as a starter in Toronto. He's no longer the sub-3.00 ERA reliever he was a few years ago, but Cecil was still plenty effective last season with more than four strikeouts for every walk thanks to a 37.0 O-Swing percentage. Renewed faith in his changeup -- he more than doubled his changeup usage from any of the previous four seasons to 14.4 percent -- helped Cecil post career-best numbers against right-handers (.230 OBP, .331 SLG). Unfortunately, his performance against lefties declined dramatically, with his .392 wOBA allowed to lefty batters coming in more than 100 points higher than his career mark. He also saw fewer high-leverage opportunities later in the year after a rough stretch in August, so Cecil may be confined to the middle innings to open 2018. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a four-year, $30.5 million contract with the Cardinals in November of 2016.
Reinstated from disabled list
PSt. Louis Cardinals
August 15, 2018
Cecil (foot) was activated from the 10-day DL on Wednesday.
As expected, Cecil will rejoin the big-league bullpen after appearing in back-to-back rehab outings earlier in the week. Across 27 appearances with the Cardinals this year, Cecil has posted a 5.70 ERA and 1.99 WHIP with a poor 14:18 K:BB in 23.2 innings. He should be available immediately for Wednesday's game against Washington. Tyler Webb was sent down in a corresponding move.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .309 251 48 21 69 14 1 6
Since 2016vs Right .246 329 80 27 73 14 1 10
2018vs Left .309 63 9 7 17 2 1 1
2018vs Right .297 83 8 17 19 3 1 2
2017vs Left .343 116 19 11 35 11 0 3
2017vs Right .208 161 47 5 32 7 0 4
2016vs Left .258 72 20 3 17 1 0 2
2016vs Right .278 85 25 5 22 4 0 4
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 3.39 1.35 63.2 0 3 0 8.5 3.5 0.7
Since 2016Away 5.32 1.46 71.0 4 9 1 8.6 2.9 1.4
2018Home 3.45 1.72 15.2 0 0 0 3.4 6.9 0.6
2018Away 9.00 2.20 15.0 1 1 0 6.6 7.2 1.2
2017Home 3.99 1.26 29.1 0 1 0 9.2 2.5 0.9
2017Away 3.79 1.21 38.0 2 3 1 8.5 1.9 0.9
2016Home 2.41 1.18 18.2 0 2 0 11.6 2.4 0.5
2016Away 5.50 1.39 18.0 1 5 0 10.5 1.5 2.5
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Stat Review
How does Brett Cecil compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
89.8 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Cecil tied the major league record for consecutive games without allowing an earned run (38) in the first week of 2016, carrying over from a strong 2015 season. However, things quickly went downhill as he went 0-5 with a 5.14 ERA and .339 BAA over 21 first-half appearances. The left-hander missed about six weeks with a torn lat, but showed improvement upon his return. He allowed just one run after Aug. 24 en route to a 3.18 ERA, .221 BAA and 33 strikeouts over 33 appearances (22.2 innings) post All-Star break. Cecil demonstrated great control throughout his turbulent campaign, posting a career-best 2.0 BB/9 while racking up an 11.0 K/9 -- marking the 29-year-old's fourth straight season of managing an 11-plus K/9. He'll have prominent role in the St. Louis bullpen after signing a a four-year, $30.5 million deal.
For long stretches of the 2015 season, Cecil was the best reliever in the Blue Jays bullpen. However, when he was pressed into the closer role, Cecil was particularly perilous. Starting the season as the team’s closer, he blew his first save opportunity — an ominous start for the first-time closer. At the end of April, he held a 5.14 ERA, but settled down in May, allowing just one earned run. When pressed into being the closer once again in June, he held a 9.00 ERA, allowing 10 earned runs across 10 innings of work. He finished the season with a 2.48 ERA and 70 strikeouts across 54.1 innings and thrived in the setup role. Cecil tore a muscle in his calf during the playoffs, but is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the season where he should be a nice piece in the back-half of the team’s bullpen.
A left-handed pitcher with stuff will get a long leash in the rotation. After 439 innings of a 4.77 ERA and 1.41 WHIP across 74 starts, the Jays finally decided that it just wasn’t going to work for Cecil. He still had plenty of talent, but it was becoming clear that it would only play in short bursts. And it has. Cecil has had back-to-back strong seasons out of the pen, including an All-Star bid in 2013. He was essentially better in 2014, but a 25% line-drive rate fueled a .344 BABIP, which resulted in a 1.37 WHIP. He weirdly flipped his platoon split as lefties managed a .714 OPS against him. Expect improvement there, and if his gains are legitimate, Cecil may keep the ninth-inning role after being named the Blue Jays' closer in March when Aaron Sanchez was shifted into the rotation.
After struggling as a starter in 2011 and 2012, Cecil reinvented himself as a highly effective reliever in 2013, finishing with a 2.82 ERA over 60.2 innings. The ERA was backed by strong rate numbers, as he posted a 10.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in his first season working strictly as a reliever. He shut down lefties to the tune of an ugly .186/.223/.235 line, while also holding his own against right-handers (.208/.341/.394). Cecil will likely have a setup or middle-relief role again 2014, while Sergio Santos is the best bet to close for the Jays if Casey Janssen falters.
There was cause for concern in 2011 when Cecil lost velocity on his fastball, averaging just 88.5 mph after checking in at 90.1 the previous year. His pitch speed increased across the board in 2012, but he induced fewer groundballs and subsequently, was more vulnerable to the long ball for the second consecutive season. As a lefty, he will likely be moved into the bullpen after the Jays rebuilt their rotation during the winter.
Splat. Cecil followed up his 15-win season of a year ago with an ugly 4-11 record and saw his ERA jump to 4.73 despite similar ratios to his 15-win season. His WHIP (1.326) was nearly identical, but his control (3.1 BB/9IP) and home-run rate (1.6 HR/9IP) both slipped just enough to produce some volatile outings. He didn't pick up a victory after July, losing seven of his last 10 starts, despite solid numbers after the All-Star break (1.215 WHIP, 4.37 ERA in 13 starts). He was a bit unlucky in the second half, which bloated his overall numbers, but life in the AL East isn't going to get any easier. He'll be counted on again to make 25-28 starts for the Jays, and while he'll most certainly improve on last year's effort there's enough here to still see some growing pains.
Cecil lost out in a battle for a rotation spot in spring training but was up with the Jays by the end of April and never looked back, notching 15 wins with a 4.22 ERA in 28 starts. He faded badly down the stretch (6.92 ERA, 1.962 WHIP despite a 4-0 record in five September starts) due to a knee injury and fatigue. Cecil went 10-3 against the beasts of the AL East (Tampa, New York and Boston) and posted a 1.84 ERA over 34 innings against the Yankees. If either trend reverses itself Cecil could be in store for a sharp decline. He'll be back as the team's third starter.
Cecil bounced around between Triple-A Las Vegas and Toronto, making 17 starts for the Jays with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.650 WHIP. He's always relied more on command and control rather than pure stuff, though he did have an above average K/9IP rate (6.7) with the Jays so he'll have his share of struggles, especially in the AL East. The Jays are counting on him to hold down a spot in the middle of their rotation.
Cecil has been advanced quickly, working his way up to make six starts at Triple-A Syracuse in just his second season. He went 6-2 with a 2.55 ERA and a nice 87:23 K:BB ratio in 77.2 innings at Double-A New Hampshire. It's hard to imagine he'd be ready for the majors with just 168 innings under his belt as a pro, but he'll likely have an outside chance to win a rotation spot this spring. He relies more on command than pure stuff so it will be interesting to see how he fares in a full season at Triple-A.
Cecil had a nice pro debut after being a supplemental pick in the June draft and signing quickly. In 49.2 innings, Cecil allowed just 36 hits, one home run, 11 walks and fanned 56 hitters. He doesn't throw very hard, topping out around 90 mph, so there's some concern that he'll turn into another Josh Banks given Toronto's lack of success in developing recent pitchers with less-than-stellar stuff. His performance at Double-A will tell us a lot.
More Fantasy News
Returning from DL on Wednesday
PSt. Louis Cardinals
August 14, 2018
Cecil (foot) is slated to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday, Jenifer Langosch of reports.
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To be evaluated Monday
PSt. Louis Cardinals
August 12, 2018
Cecil (foot) fired a scoreless seventh inning in which he allowed a walk and recorded a strikeout in Triple-A Memphis' win over Oklahoma City on Sunday. He'll return to St. Louis on Monday to be evaluated by the team's medical staff, Jenifer Langosch of reports.
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Another strong rehab outing
PSt. Louis Cardinals
August 10, 2018
Cecil (foot) fired a scoreless inning in Triple-A Memphis' win over Oklahoma City on Thursday, allowing one hit.
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Sharp in first rehab appearance
PSt. Louis Cardinals
August 6, 2018
Cecil (foot) fired a perfect seventh inning in Triple-A Memphis' loss to Memphis on Monday.
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Rehab assignment on tap
PSt. Louis Cardinals
August 3, 2018
Cecil (foot) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis on Monday, Jenifer Langosch of reports.
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