Dylan Cease is supposed to eventually slot in towards the top of the Chicago White Sox rotation long-term, but right now he is nowhere near that and the team can’t rely on him in 2020.
The Chicago White Sox have a very bright future as a whole and that extends to the rotation as in 2020 the team is hoping to have Lucas Giolito anchor a rotation that the team hoped to have Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease right behind.
That dream might not become a reality right away, though, as Kopech will be returning from Tommy John Surgery which could put a damper on expectations while Cease has proven early in his major league career to simply not be ready for this level.
In 10 starts (52 innings), Cease has a 3-7 record, 6.92 ERA, 5.87 FIP, and 1.635 WHIP. He also is averaging 9.2 K/9 as compared to 4.0 BB/9.
Furthermore, he has only registered two quality starts in that span, with one of them involving him really giving up four runs total to the Houston Astros, but only two earned.
While yes, there is still a month left in the season and one in which he should get every chance to prove this idea otherwise, unless if he starts showing a dramatic shift, Cease should not be relied upon heavily or really at all for the White Sox rotation in 2020.
The former third-best prospect in the system according to Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline should be given time to develop into the pitcher they hope he should be, not thrown into the fire because they have an open spot in the rotation next season.
Letting him pitch right now is okay as there is very limited pressure given the team is nowhere near contention this season.
That being said, the team is hoping to contend next season and relying on him to help carry the rotation would not be smart in the slightest.
Right now, he clearly is nothing more than a fringe five in a rotation. The expectation definitely should still be that he will figure it out at some point and this article is not arguing that he can’t help them at all next season, just not expected to from the start.
However, the team needs to acknowledge that learning at the big league level is not really the best way to go if the team wants to contend in 2020.
The Chicago White Sox really should have realized that his 4.48 ERA and 1.566 WHIP at Triple-A Charlotte suggested he probably was not ready for the majors.
A 23-year-old having to go back to the minors and work on stuff such as his walk rate is not a bad thing and happens all the time.
That could also help him reestablish some confidence that probably was lost after outings such as Thursday’s where he allowed eight runs in two innings against the Minnesota Twins.
If the Chicago White Sox decide to keep Dylan Cease at the major league level to start next season as they try to take the next step, they will not only hurt the team overall, but Cease’s development as well.