Dylan Cease's most recent outing was at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City against the Royals. He gave up seven earned runs in five innings.
It's safe to say at this point into the 2023 major league season that he has yet to be close to what he was in 2022 which was the AL Cy Young runner-up behind Justin Verlander.
The Kansas City Royals aren't a good baseball team. Their offense is below average compared to other teams across major league baseball and Dylan Cease wasn't able to capitalize.
Quite frankly, he hasn't been able all season long outside from his lone Opening Day start in Houston against the Astros.
The Chicago White Sox need Dylan Cease to be much better in 2023.
Through eight starts, Dylan Cease has only one quality start. His fastball is getting knocked around the ballpark and his command with his off-speed arsenal just hasn't been the same. It props up the main question, what is wrong with Dylan Cease?
In 2022, Cease's ERA plus was a career-high at 181. In 2023, it's the worst since his rookie season at 81. A primary reason why the ERA plus is so high is because of his walk rate. His BB/9 is a 4.5 and while his walk rates have always bothered him, it's an issue that Cease needs to erase from his career.
On top of that, his fastball is getting different results than it has in the past. His velocity has been around 94-96, whereas in the past it has been 96-99. Cease is at his best when his high-velocity fastball surges through the top of the strike zone.
It benefits his off-speed pitches and it's arguably when Cease is at his best, which is a high-valued starting pitcher at the top of the White Sox's rotation.
Cease's fastball hasn't been commanded and it hasn't been thrown at his usual speed, hence why he is getting rocked around by the majority of the teams in baseball.
Cease is obviously frustrated with his stretch to the start of the 2023 season but it is something he can overcome. Cease is fundamentally not in the right place right now. Once his issues resolve, hopefully for the sake of the south side of Chicago, it's as soon as possible.
Cease is projected to make his next start in Chicago against the Houston Astros. That is the only team, surprisingly, that he has looked good against in 2023.