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January 17, 2018

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Cecil delivers in big way in MLB debut



Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil throws in the first inning against the New York Yankees in a spring training baseball game in Dunedin, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009.

Of the three 51s starting pitchers who have already earned big league call-ups this season, it was the youngest of the bunch who had the most impressive debut with the Blue Jays.

The 23-year-old lefty, who was the 38th overall selection in the 2007 MLB draft, threw 6 solid innings in the Jays' 10-6 victory on Tuesday afternoon against Cleveland, completing a two-game, mid-week sweep.

Cecil, who was 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in four starts with Las Vegas this season, allowed 2 runs -- only 1 was earned -- off of 6 hits. He didn't allow a single walk and struck out 6 batters, as the Indians hitters appeared to have a tough time picking up on his delivery.

For 6 innings, he took part in what looked like a true pitcher's duel with Anthony Reyes, leaving the mound in the middle of the sixth trailing 2-1. In the bottom half of the inning, though, Adam Lind's two-out two-run single put Cecil right in line for a win in his major league debut.

Toronto's bullpen, however, couldn't hold steady, allowing 4 runs in the top of the seventh. Things turned out well for the Jays, though, as a 7-run showing in the bottom of the seventh was keyed by a 3-run bomb from Lind, who had 5 RBI on the afternoon.

Quick Analysis: Cecil was flat-out throwing darts, and his control was spot-on. The fact that he went 6 innings without allowing a walk had to be more than encouraging to manager Cito Gaston and the higher-ups. He also didn't allow an extra-base hit. So how can a guy have an ERA over 8 in four Triple-A starts, then shut down a potent major league lineup for 6 innings? Not sure, honestly. And if Cecil gets shipped back down, he'll definitely be asked. But, more than likely, he'll get another start or two, with Jesse Litsch, Ricky Romero and Shaun Marcum all still on the disabled list. His next gig would be on Sunday afternoon at Oakland (4:05 p.m. PST).

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