Brett Cecil made the American League all-star team as a reliever in 2013, but midway through the left-hander’s breakout season, the Toronto Blue Jays briefly considered moving him back to the starting rotation.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos joined Prime Time Sports Tuesday, explaining that the team had some internal discussions about changing Cecil’s role when the team badly needed starting pitching this summer.
“We never talked to Brett about it, but we kicked it around for a brief moment because obviously he had success and we had holes that had come up,” Anthopoulos said.
Cecil started 28 games for the 2010 Blue Jays, posting a 4.22 ERA in 172.2 innings with a 15-7 record. The 27-year-old started 20 games in 2011 and nine games in 2012, but his ERA rose each year and the Blue Jays moved him full-time to the bullpen in 2013.
He thrived in relief, striking out 70 in 60.2 innings with a 2.82 ERA before finishing the season on the disabled list.
The Blue Jays will prioritize starting pitching this off-season after finishing 29th in MLB with a rotation ERA of 4.81.
“Right now we have volume,” Anthopoulos said on the final day of the regular season. “The question is ‘is the quality of that volume enough’ and that’s something that has to still be determined. We know we’re not good enough right now.”
Dustin McGowan has told the Blue Jays that he would like to start, and the team remains open to the possibility of stretching the right-hander out next spring. However, the Blue Jays haven’t fully committed to making McGowan a starter, as their first priority is keeping him healthy.
Anthopoulos also noted that the Blue Jays have not considered moving Brandon Morrow to the bullpen or reached a decision about Josh Johnson’s future with the team.