White Sox News

Chicago White Sox: Dylan Cease is gearing up for October

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 24: Dylan Cease #84 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the first inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 24, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 24: Dylan Cease #84 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the first inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 24, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Dylan Cease looked October ready during Tuesday’s start against the Toronto Blue Jays. This is great news for the Chicago White Sox who are riding their starting pitching depth into the playoffs.

Last post-season, they were bounced from the Wild Card round because they did not have a reliable third starter to pitch the elimination game. Dylan Cease was moved to the bullpen because Rick Renteria did not trust him enough to start. That will not be the case this year.

Cease made a statement with his Tuesday night start. The 25-year-old right-hander threw seven impressive innings of one-run ball. Cease only allowed four hits, one walk, and racked up seven strikeouts.  His only blemish was a solo home run allowed in the seventh inning. Dylan Cease has now allowed three earned runs or less in 22 of his 26 starts this season. Only Marcus Stroman, Kevin Gausman, and Walker Buehler have more.

The White Sox have always known that Cease has filthy stuff. Now the league is slowly finding out. Cease leads the White Sox with 177 strikeouts this season. That is good enough for the third-best in the American League. It is easy to see why. He has a devasting arsenal at his disposal that features an upper 90s fastball, tight slider, and a devastating knuckle curve.

Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox has multiple plus pitches in his arsenal.

His slider has a spin rate of 2878. That is the highest spin rate in baseball. Lance Mccullers Jr. is second with a 2776 mark. Toronto hitters experienced firsthand just how tough he is to hit. Cease attacked the strike zone throwing 58 of his 95 pitches for strikes. He was also able to accumulate 15 swinging strikes. Five of those came on his slider.

Two of those swinging strikes came on some gorgeous knuckle curves. The first rainbowed into the strike zone at 81 mph past the swinging bat of Teaoscar Hernandez. The second is a candidate for the pitch of the year. Cease got Bo Bichette to swing at a pitch that had 60″ of a vertical break and snapped out of the strike zone. Bichette had to lean on his bat for balance after being undressed by the pitch.

His ERA dropped to 3.92 and he matched his season-high for innings pitched in a game. The secret for Cease may have been from a bad bullpen session before the game.

"“The ball wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do,” Cease said about his bullpen warmup. “It kind of made me lock-in, honestly, because I didn’t want to bring that out to the game.”"

The key for Cease is his fastball command. He was able to locate his fastball on Tuesday, which topped out at 98.3 mph. That made it especially difficult to hit his offspeed pitches. When he throws his fastball for strikes it sets up his offspeed better.

"“I was attacking with my fastball well, getting it in and out-not really leaving it over the middle- and then the offspeed was pretty solid too,” Cease said. “When I have that combination going, I’m hard to hit.”"

When the White Sox have Dylan Cease going they are hard to beat. Especially come playoff time.

Related Story. The White Sox have had some unsung heroes in 2021. light

facebooktwitterreddit