Cecil will go for tests tomorrow to see what caused the “pop” he felt in his leg. The lefty said he was feeling good about how his spring was going before the incident. “That was the best I’ve felt in a long time,” he told Rogers. “Cutter was cutting, sinker was sinking, ball was good. See how it looks tomorrow and go from there.”
Another injury would further dent what has been a disappointing tenure in St. Louis for Cecil. Before the 2017 season, the Cardinals signed the southpaw to a four-year deal that guaranteed him $30.5MM. At the time, Cecil was coming off a four-year run of quality out of the Blue Jays bullpen, with a 2.90 ERA and 11.5 K/9 over that stretch.
However, since swapping one ornithological jersey for another, the results have not been nearly as positive. In 2017, the first season of his deal, Cecil’s stats regressed somewhat, as he mustered a palatable 3.88 ERA but with a paltry 8.8 K/9, by far his lowest since becoming a full-time reliever. 2018 came with shoulder issues and saw Cecil’s effectiveness dip even lower, to an ERA of 6.89 and a 5.2 K/9. And he couldn’t even make it onto a major league mound in 2019, going on the IL on March 28th. Cecil had carpal tunnel surgery in April and never made it back onto the roster. The Cardinals will pay him $7.25MM in 2020, the final year of the deal.
Though St. Louis surely would have welcomed Cecil returning to form, they would not have been relying on him to make significant contributions based on his recent track record. Although with fellow lefty Andrew Miller also currently on the shelf, that leaves the Cardinals with only inexperienced southpaws for their bullpen, such as Tyler Webb and Genesis Cabrera.