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Cecil set to undergo tests on right hamstring

Left-handed reliever sustained injury while running to cover first base
@anne__rogers
March 11, 2020

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Brett Cecil, sidelined for most of the three years he’s been with the Cardinals, left Wednesday’s 7-3 loss to the Mets in the sixth inning with a right hamstring strain and he will undergo testing Thursday morning to determine the severity of the injury. Cecil

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Brett Cecil, sidelined for most of the three years he’s been with the Cardinals, left Wednesday’s 7-3 loss to the Mets in the sixth inning with a right hamstring strain and he will undergo testing Thursday morning to determine the severity of the injury.

Cecil struck out the first batter he faced, but he said he felt a “pop” in his right leg when he went to cover first on a ground ball to first baseman John Nogowski. Cecil stopped short of the bag and grabbed his leg before walking off on his own power.

“It’s going to be limiting,” manager Mike Shildt said. “Not ready to qualify it yet.”

Cecil is working his way back to the Majors after missing all of last season with carpal tunnel syndrome in his left hand. Since the Cardinals signed him in 2017, the 33-year-old left-hander has given them one decent year. He spent much of '18 on the injured list with a left shoulder strain and right foot inflammation before being shut down last season.

But Cecil was determined to make this spring different and he was on a healthy track. In four innings pitched this spring, Cecil had given up two runs, walked four and struck out two. More importantly, though, he was recovering well from each outing.

“That was the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Cecil said about his stuff Wednesday before exiting. “Cutter was cutting, sinker was sinking, ball was good. See how it looks tomorrow and go from there.”

The Cardinals have two left-handed relievers questionable for Opening Day, although Andrew Miller, who has been dealing with a lack of feel for his pitches, said he had a strong bullpen session on Wednesday and feels he is on the right track.

If the season is delayed for both Cecil and Miller, the Cardinals will likely turn to lefty Génesis Cabrera alongside Tyler Webb for left-handed options out of the bullpen. Kwang-Hyun Kim and Austin Gomber are both competing for starting spots -- with Gomber most likely starting the season at Triple-A Memphis as a first callup option -- but they also could be valuable in relief.

Anne Rogers covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @anne__rogers and on Facebook.