Last year was a dream year for Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease. He came in second in Cy Young voting and was one of the top pitchers in the league.
However, his start to 2023 has not been as good as he, or anyone else for that matter, thought that it would be. It’s been a bumpy ride that is only just beginning to smooth out.
The Chicago White Sox ace has been struggling quite a bit to start the season but, recently, has picked up the pace and is playing much better.
To start the year, Cease didn’t look like the Cy Young runner-up that he was in 2022. But over the past few weeks, he has slowly started to build himself back up to be capable and confident on the mound. Maybe it’s his being more comfortable or maybe it's taken him a little while to get settled in.
The White Sox need the best version of Dylan Cease going forward.
The White Sox pitching, overall, has been a bit weaker than it was last year and it really shows. Not only has Cease struggled, but every other pitcher on the roster has had their moments, especially early on.
It seems that they have all had one or more games where they suffered a catastrophic breakdown and the game was lost sometimes in a resounding fashion.
Some of the games the Cease has pitched in have been frustrating. It appeared as if he had lost what he had last year including the control of his pitches and his ability to keep batters guessing.
His slider, which he penned a poem about in 2022, was no longer the perfect pitch as it had seemingly lost its effectiveness. Cease was without his best pitch and he was struggling.
But, as is the case with most pitchers that start out the season on a low note, Cease has started to get back to his normal self and is performing much better now that he’s in the middle of the season.
Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time to get back into the “swing” of things and that appears to be what has happened to Cease. He is finally settling down and playing better.
Looking at his stats so far this season, Cease has played in a total of 17 games and has a record of three wins and three losses. His ERA is 4.04 and he has a WHIP of 1.29. Cease has recorded 110 strikeouts so far this year in 91.1 innings pitched.
The White Sox can count on continued improvement from Cease. He might even get back to the same form he was in last year, as the season slowly starts to wind down.
Is he a Cy Young candidate? Not likely and that’s unfortunate. Is he still the White Sox's best pitcher? He is. Will he be a solid starter for the long term? Yes, he will be.
You can bet on it.
Other pitchers have managed to step up and play well. Lucas Giolito has a lot of upside as does Michael Kopech.
Lance Lynn has had mostly a down year but his big strikeout game recently may be an indicator of things to come (hopefully positive). Mike Clevinger has been a pleasant surprise when he’s healthy. Every one of these guys has improved over the course of the season.
And so has Dylan Cease.