Blue Jays remove injured reliever Cecil from ALDS roster
Toronto Blue Jays reliever Brett Cecil said he cried while walking to the clubhouse after being helped off the field.
Cecil’s season is over because of a torn calf muscle, and the left-hander has been replaced on Toronto’s postseason roster by rookie right-hander Ryan Tepera.
"It’s not the way I perceived it ending," Cecil said Saturday, a day after sustaining the injury in Game 2 of the AL Division Series.
He got hurt while tagging out Mike Napoli in a rundown than ended the eighth inning of the Blue Jays’ 6-4 loss in 14 innings to Texas on Friday that gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Tepera, who had 3.27 ERA in 32 appearances over three stints with the Blue Jays this season, was put on their playoff roster Saturday, an off day before Game 3 in Texas on Sunday night.
Napoli was caught after a pickoff move by Cecil, who then went to get in position for the rundown. The pitcher said he took a throw from shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, then immediately felt a pop when he took a step toward the runner.
"I don’t know how I took an extra two steps, but I was able to get there and tag him," Cecil said. "Then just the adrenaline took over for a second, and just the pain set in, and it was tough to get off the field."
Cecil said he initially thought he only had a cramp, but then needed help to get off the field and to the clubhouse.
"When the MRI came back, they said it was pretty torn up," he said.
While doctors have given him no timeline for his return, Cecil said he would not need surgery and would be ready for spring training.
Cecil was 5-5 with five saves and a 2.48 ERA in 63 games during the regular season. He didn’t allow an earned run over his last 37 appearances since June 24, with 44 strikeouts in those 31 2/3 innings.
"It’s definitely a big loss," manager John Gibbons said. "He’s been so good for us, arguably the best reliever in baseball the last three months, been up there with the best of them."