Blender injury forces Jays' Cecil out of start versus Yankees

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The Canadian Press
9/16/2011 7:17:58 PM
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TORONTO -- Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil might want to stay out of the kitchen.

The left-hander had to skip his scheduled start Friday night against the New York Yankees after he cut his left index finger while cleaning a blender earlier in the week.

It's not the first time Cecil has cut his pitching hand since joining the Blue Jays. He missed some time at spring training last year after cutting his left thumb while "chopping up chickens."

Cecil said the latest accident occurred in the team clubhouse Wednesday afternoon when the Blue Jays were closing out a two-game series in Boston.

"I'm scared of a butter knife right now," he said with a laugh before Friday night's game.

No stitches were required and Cecil is listed as day to day. He's scheduled to start Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

There are attendants on hand in team clubhouses to help players but Cecil said he normally handles cleanup duties on his own.

"I'm not the kind of guy that's just going to go ask one of the clubbies to do it," Cecil said. "It's not me, I'm not a lazy person."

He said the blender had a unique blade -- one that he had never seen before.

"It had two blades that were sticking straight up and then two out to the side and I hit one of the ones that were sticking straight up," Cecil said.

Jays manager John Farrell said Cecil tried some flat-ground pitches Thursday, but they felt the cut might open up if he pitched Friday night. Cecil kept the mood light when speaking with reporters before the game even though he was frustrated.

"I asked Papi (pitching coach Bruce Walton) if the team would be interested in hiring me a personal assistant," he said.

The Blue Jays are out of playoff contention and have been hovering near the .500 mark as the regular season winds down. Right-hander Dustin McGowan replaced Cecil in the series opener against the American League-leading Yankees at Rogers Centre.

After leading the team with 15 wins last year, Cecil was expected to be a key member of the rotation this season. However, he struggled with his velocity out of the gate and spent part of the year in the minors.

He has shown flashes of his potential since being recalled but still has a weak 4-9 record and 4.37 earned-run average in 18 appearances.

Cecil actually developed a change-up when he made some adjustments after cutting his thumb last year. The 25-year-old native of Dunkirk, Md., was selected by Toronto in the first round (supplemental -- 38th overall) of the 2007 first-year player draft.

McGowan, meanwhile, recently made it back to a major-league mound for the first time in three years. He underwent two shoulder surgeries and a long minor-league rehab.

McGowan entered the game with a 0-0 mark and 9.00 ERA. Yankees ace CC Sabathia (19-8) got the start for New York.

Toronto centre-fielder Colby Rasmus returned to the lineup Friday for the first time since injuring his right wrist on Aug. 23. Mike McCoy got the start at shortstop as Yunel Escobar is still day to day with a bruised left arm.

Brett Cecil (Photo: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
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