Another star pitching prospect made his way through the farm and into the MLB last season. Dylan Cease made a spectacular debut in game one of a doubleheader against the Tigers. Unfortunately, he did not perform to the same caliber as his 2018 Pipeline Pitcher of the Year award has credited him.
Yet again there is another case of a fanbase giving up on a prospect after one underwhelming season. Throwing a 5.79 ERA in 73 innings, Cease held a pretty solid rookie season, but certainly not one many wished to see. The main problem for Cease was the first, second and sometimes third innings. That was when he would give up the most runs and start digging a hole almost impossible to escape from.
Through the first three innings of each of his starts in 2019, his ERA was 7.56 with his opponents hitting an average of .310. He gave up 10 home runs and 53 hits in these 41 innings.
He calmed down in innings 4-6. In these 30.1 innings, his ERA was 3.26 and held his opponents to a slash of .233/.281/.420. Everything is rock solid, except for the slugging percentage. This means he is getting rocked. It is not the home runs that does it to him because he only gave up five. It was the seven doubles he gave up.
It is unrealistic to expect Cease to come out of the gate with a 2.00 ERA in 220 innings, it just cannot happen. He certainly has the potential to hit those numbers but it is unrealistic to expect it in his rookie year. The future is bright for Cease as he has a plethora of mentors at his disposal. From Giolito, like last season, to the newly acquired Keuchel, Ródon, González and of course Don Cooper.