The Chicago White Sox were one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball last season. One of the reasons they were so bad was the pitching that they had on display every night. They were at a disadvantage in that area in almost every single game they played.
One of the times that they were supposed to be at an advantage was when Dylan Cease was on the mound. He was the American League Cy Young Award runner-up in 2022 because he was so dominant. Coming into the year, he wanted to take a crack at winning it this time.
It just wasn't in him this season. He wasn't terrible but you could say he was bad compared to what we expect out of him now. We know how good he can be and he wasn't even close to that at any point this year. He had his decent moments but nothing like 2022.
The Chicago White Sox expected to have more from Dylan Cease in 2023.
Cease was also on the trade block before the deadline. It actually felt for a minute like he had a better chance of being dealt than staying. Once we learned he was sticking around, it almost felt like a mistake because he struggled for a big in August. Now, is his value gone?
It might be for now so we'll see what they decide over the winter. If a team is willing to pay a premium to bring him in before the White Sox can ruin him any further, it won't be too shocking. He will dominate with another team.
Cease went 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA. He did strike out 214 batters in 177.0 innings pitched which is nice and it shows he still has his stuff. The team around him was terrible so it might have been a case of him just going through the motions. When the team has a chance to compete, he will be much better.
Final Grade: C-
There were pitchers who were better than Cease this year on the team but there were ones way worse. It was not an easy situation for him as an elite player but it is what it is.
You can argue he deserves a D but the C- fits too because of the fact that his strikeout numbers paint a picture of him getting back to normal if he is on a good team. We'll see if he is ever truly able to regain that magic he had in 2022.
Dylan Cease has a lot of different things he can do here. If he is traded, he will still have to prove that he can be elite again. If he isn't, he has to prove it on the White Sox. He can't mail it in again because his next contract depends on it. Expect him to be much better no matter what team he's on.