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DUNEDIN, Fla. Jon Weeks Jersey . -- Brett Cecil walked into spring training last year with his career in limbo. The Toronto left-hander seemed far removed from his breakout season of 2010, when he posted a team-high 15 wins despite not making the 25-man roster out of camp. Instead, he was fresh off two years of disappointment. Hed bounced back and forth between the Blue Jays and Triple-A, going a combined 6-15 while getting demoted from the rotation. Cecil knew that if he didnt show improvement, his days in Toronto would be numbered. "There was a big discussion before the beginning of spring last year whether he was even going to make the team," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Saturday. That doubt forced the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Cecil to make a change. He began throwing a weighted baseball during pitching drills to help strengthen his arm and build velocity. It worked. After several strong outings, Cecil was informed in the final days of camp that hed made the final cut. As a reliever, in fact. Cecil took advantage of that opportunity and went 5-1 with a 2.82 ERA and one save. He was also picked as an American League All-Star for the first time. Cecil pitched in 60 games, striking out 70 in 60 2-3 innings. He signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract in the off-season. The 27-year-old Cecil said last years experience changed his mindset and made him appreciate what he has. "Completely different," he said. "Im fairly certain that I have a spot on the team. Obviously, I have to perform, but its a little bit more pressure taken off not being on the bubble." Though Cecil performed well early on in 2013, he began to wear down during the second half of the season. Extra work with the weighted-ball routine and the added stress of having to continuously prove himself took a toll on his body. In September, soreness developed in his shoulder and prematurely ended his season. "I just needed rest," Cecil said. "It was a combination of a different role, different workload and overdoing the ball program a little bit." Cecil said he is now completely healthy and understands where his limits are. He said it will be much easier to dial it back when he needs to instead of constantly going full-bore all the time. "I just dont want any red flags to be thrown up, but I am going to be a lot smarter about the time I take throwing," Cecil said. "When I feel like I really need the work, if I feel like I need to take a day, I said Im going to take a day." "(During batting practice on Friday) they told me I had 25 pitches, and I said I dont need 25 pitches, Ill do 20. If I can throw 20, Im sure I can get five more in a game down the road. I dont need that right now. I need 20 or so and that would be it. Right now, its just saving as many bullets as I can for August, September and, hopefully, October." Gibbons agreed and said it will take that approach from Cecil to help the bullpen succeed. "He had a heck of a year," Gibbons said. "Hes found a role, he likes that bullpen role and hes very good at it. The big thing is always going to be durability, because the good ones get used a lot. Hes got to be conscious of that. He can be a hero, but he also has to understand that to be good in this business." NOTES: Gibbons said LHP J.A. Happ will start the Blue Jays exhibition opener on Wednesday in Clearwater against the Philadelphia Phillies. ... RHP Liam Hendriks, claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, joined the team. ... Japanese-born SS Munenori Kawasaki said he will cheer for the Canadian mens hockey team during its Olympic gold-medal game against Sweden on Sunday. Kawasaki said he predicts a win for Canada, because his son, Issho, was born in Toronto last year. "I love Canada," Kawasaki said. "I think Canada wins 2-1. Yes, perfect. Sounds good. Lets go, Canada." C. J. Fiedorowicz Jersey . At quarterback, all agree that Andy Dalton has been a wonderful surprise, but to truly progress he has to play his best in the playoffs. The two losses in the wildcard rounds keep the evaluation on Dalton open -- just like it did for Peyton Manning many years ago and Matt Ryan until last year. Stephen Anderson Jersey . The Jays responded to the three-spot Detroit placed on Casey Janssen the evening before with an attack on the Tigers Achilles Heel, its bullpen, tying the game in the ninth and winning the game in the 10th. The result absolved Marcus Stroman, brilliant once again, of a tough luck loss while at the same time robbing Max Scherzer, brilliant once again, of a deserved win.VANCOUVER - The salsa music was cranked up loud in the Vancouver Whitecaps dressing room prior to a training session this week. You can catch the action live on TSN2 at 10pm et/7pm pt. The players looked relaxed and smiled as they filed out for practice. There was little evidence the teams confidence had been shaken by a pair of subpar performances and its first loss in eight Major League Soccer games. There was even talk about how the Seattle Sounders, Vancouvers Cascadia rival with the best record in MLS, are the right medicine to cure whatever ails the Whitecaps. "Its the perfect test to bounce back," forward Nigel Reo-Coker said about Saturdays game at BC Place Stadium. "Its a great test for the team. No one expects us to win this game. They are the most experienced team, I would say, in the league. For us, as an emerging young team, its a great time for us to prove to people we should be taken seriously as a team." The Whitecaps had a franchise record eight-game unbeaten streak (3-0-5) snapped in a 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids last week. Vancouver had also played poorly in a 0-0 draw to the Montreal Impact the previous game. A Vancouver team that had gone six of seven games scoring two or more goals has suddenly had problems putting the ball in the net. "The last couple of games I dont think our team has produced the same amount of opportunities they have in the past," said forward Erik Hurtado. "That is going to affect us scoring goals." Coach Carl Robinson doesnt see any big problems with the Whitecaps game, just areas that need little fixes. "Good teams are able to do the crappy jobs very well," said Robinson. "Weve done that the first part of the season. In the last two games I think we went away from that. "Our transition play needs to be a little bit better. Its the little details that make the big differences. If we get back to that, then everyone will put a smile on their face." Seattle leads the MLS standings with 35 points from a 11-3-2 record. One of those ties came against Vancouver last month. The Sounders have also scored 33 goals, more than any other team in the league. Vancouver is fifth in the Western Conference, 13 points behind Seattle with a 5-3-7 record. Steven Beitashour, who is returning to the Whitecaps lineup after playing for Iran at the World Cup, said the last two results are a minor bump in a long season. "We were on a nice streak," said the 27-year-old right back. "The guys did well during that. "The league is going to have runs, good runs, bad runs. I dont think two is bad at all. Im confident this weekend we will have a good result, then we will start a new winning streak. Kareem Jackson Jersey. " The last time the teams met Seattle salvaged the tie on a late penalty kick after a controversial call. Sounders coach Sigi Schmid doesnt expect things to be any easier in the rematch. "They are going to be a team that is motivated," Schmid said on the Sounders website. "Im sure they havent been happy with their last two games they played, they havent scored any goals. "Coach Robinson will be under them and motivating them. That team is going to be hungry when they play us." One reason the Whitecaps have had problems scoring goals is teams are dropping back defenders to counter Vancouvers speed. Robinson said his team must be smarter with the ball when they have possession. "We have to get back to maintaining possession, dictating possession, but also being a threat in the final third," he said. "We know we have quick players, but have we got players with an understanding how to move (opposition) players out of position? Seattle is a very organized team. They like to get eight, nine men behind the ball. We are going to have to be open and expansive but also a little bit creative in our final third play." Vancouver could also improve its set plays. The Whitecaps have been unable to take advantage of some good deliveries from midfielder Pedro Morales. "I think the service has been there," said Robinson. "Now its the challenge for the players to get in the right position. Its about movement in the box." The Whitecaps have been guilty of giving up leads. Robinson said thats a result of his team still learning how to deal with certain game situations. "The top teams are able to grind out results," he said. "I havent got an experienced core. I have a young group. "When we bend we might break at the moment. Its important we learn from scenarios like that. At the moment we have broken but we will learn form certain things." One player thrilled to be back in the Whitecaps lineup is Medhi Ballouchy. The 31-year-old midfielder from Morocco spent 11 months recovering from anterior cruciate ligament surgeries on both knees. During that time he also lost his father to cancer. Ballouchy played 20 minutes against Colorado and called the experience "amazing." "Taking something from a soccer player ... its always hard," he said about his long recovery. "Im just happy (and) at this point dont even want to think about it. "I hope I can stay in this phase for a long time." Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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    hitecaps have been guilty of gi
    hitecaps have been guilty of gi
    DUNEDIN, Fla. Jon Weeks Jersey . -- Brett Cecil walked into spring training last year with his career in limbo. The Toronto left-hander...
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