DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays reliever Brett Cecil made his return to the mound on Saturday morning after missing approximately two weeks with a left shoulder injury.
Cecil threw 10 pitches in a brief appearance that was designed to make sure everything feels OK before the intensity of his workouts is increased. The left-hander is scheduled to throw approximately 25 pitches on Sunday, and the goal is to have Cecil make his Grapefruit League season debut in approximately one week.
"It's going to be a real bullpen, but it's not going to be a max-effort 'pen," Cecil said of his next outing. "The one thing I don't want to do, and I really have to focus on, is not worrying about the past injury and trying to do something different to compensate."
Toronto has yet to officially name a closer, but it appears to be a foregone conclusion that the job will belong to Cecil. There had been some debate about whether he would share the role with Aaron Sanchez, but the rookie right-hander now appears headed for the starting rotation.
Cecil arrived in camp last month openly talking about his desire to take over ninth-inning duties that last year belonged to Casey Janssen, who signed with the Nationals during the offseason. His wish likely will be granted, and while he had a handful of save opportunities last season, this will mark the first time Cecil becomes a full-time closer since his days at the University of Maryland.
"There's a special mentality to have pitching at the back of the bullpen," Cecil said. "I have that. That's how I've prepared myself the last two years and it's going to remain the same this year."
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