St. Louis Cardinals: Time is running out for Brett Cecil

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25: Brett Cecil #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after giving up a RBI triple in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 25, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25: Brett Cecil #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after giving up a RBI triple in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 25, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals have given Brett Cecil a ton of time to get himself right. That being said, time is running out for his time as a Cardinal.

There doesn’t seem to be anything the St. Louis Cardinals hate more than swallowing bad contracts. Over the past few years, names like Johnny Peralta, Johnathan Broxton, and others have seemingly been dead meat on the roster moving into the Regular Season that the Cardinals didn’t seem to have reason to hang on to.

The following script always seems to play out from then. The player always performs poorly at first and is given the benefit of the doubt as it’s “still early” in the year and too soon to judge. Then the player blows a couple of games that were easily winnable. There is a huge public backlash which forces the team to publicly state confidence in the player. The player blows a couple more games. The team finally eats the contract.

Any fan who has followed the team for the last four years has seen this play out on repeat and it’s exhausting. In seasons like the last two, where the team has missed the playoffs by one or two games, every game counts. This season doesn’t seem to be getting any easier with plenty of teams in the NL Central gearing up to be very competitive. It doesn’t matter if it is the first week or the middle of August. If the Cardinals want to compete this year, every game matters.

The team simply can’t afford to play the same game again in 2019.

All of this brings us to the player at hand, Brett Cecil. Myself and others on this site have written, recently even, that Cecil deserves a chance and that his effort to lose 40 pounds this offseason should be truly a sign that he will perform better this coming year. Unfortunately, I am potentially going to have to eat my words when it comes to Cecil.

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There were positive signs at the beginning of 2019 camp as Cecil came in confident and in great shape. Then Cecil had to back off to go figure out his mechanics with his new body. Then he was too light and needed to gain weight. So far this Spring, Cecil has appeared in just two games and while he hasn’t let up a run yet, it’s his confidence off the field that’s the most concerning. It’s all one big merry-go-round and it’s not getting better.

On Thursday, Cecil apparently was pitching just with the minor leaguers on the back fields and didn’t look good. In an article with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Ben Frederickson reports here that Cecil threw one inning with 12 strikes and 15 balls. While he didn’t give up any hits, he apparently didn’t look good command-wise and left the game understandably frustrated.

Personally, I don’t think I have much more patience for the guy. I know the general reaction to my pro-Cecil pieces was that I was wrong and he should be cut no matter what. You guys are probably right but someone has to stand up for the guy. I am not to the point where I am throwing in the towel on Cecil as we still have a couple of weeks of Spring left, but the towel is in my hand and my hand is reaching back to throw. That’s where I’ll leave that.

I do not believe that Cecil will be cut before the start of the season. His contract is bigger than the Cardinals have ever had to eat before and I really just think the team is going to follow down the same path they always do with these kinds of contracts. This pains me to predict but I will be genuinely surprised to see the team cut Cecil before the start of the season. I just hope it doesn’t come at the cost of a young arm being lost on waivers.

Next. Show some respect when getting autographs. dark

Cecil needs steps in the right direction very quickly if he wants to stay on this team. I am not sure that the Cardinals can afford to give him the time he needs with in-game action to figure out his mechanics. He was great before he came here but hasn’t been since. There is a semi-hard line on when this will all be over so it’ll be fun to watch as we move toward Opening Day.

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