Brett Cecil came to summer camp sporting a new delivery. I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, but he’s dropped his arm slot. That’s right, he’s dropped his arm down to attempt to resurrect a career. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as news recently dropped that the St. Louis Cardinals released him. He was in the final year of his 4 year, $30.5 million dollar contract.
If you have not seen it, Jeff Jones has you covered.
These transitions are tricky and take some time, which is not something Cecil had a ton of to prepare for this. Thanks to Brendan Schaeffer we can confirm that as of February 20th, Cecil was throwing from a normal arm slot. The first question to ask is if this has had any effect on his velocity. And the answer is yes.
Tonight was the first time we’ve seen Brett Cecil pitch since they turned the stadium gun on for us to view. He topped out at 80.9 MPH.— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) July 18, 2020
Fastball generally sat 79.x. Curve was 71-72, slider 73-75.
Michael Ajeto of Pitcher List did a really good job breaking down this change. There’s a graphic in his article that shows Cecil had one of the highest release points than most left handed pitchers in the game.
“I feel like it makes me a little more competitive from down there. It feels a lot better on my arm, not that before it hurt, but I feel a lot more free down there.”
Once upon a time in 2016 Brett Cecil posted a 3.64 FIP with a K/9 of 11.05 and a BB/9 under 2, which led to a certain NL Central team signing him to a . He did that by using his signature pitch, his curveball. That was just part of a repertoire that had Joe Schwarz impressed at the time of the signing.
In his 73 appearances during the first year of the contract he was worth 1.1 fWAR. Then the injuries started to hit, and even when Cecil was on the field, he just wasn’t the same. It was a frustrating tenure that unfortunately led to his ultimate release from the organization.