White Sox Triple-A right-hander Dylan Cease, one of baseball’s premier prospects, is moving closer to his major league debut. While general manager Rick Hahn said Monday that the White Sox won’t “rush” Cease, the executive revealed the hurler’s “not too far away” from jumping to the bigs (via Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times).
Now 23 years old, Cease joined the White Sox in July 2017 in what they hope will go down as one of the most beneficial trades in franchise history. The club sent quality lefty Jose Quintana to the crosstown rival Cubs for four players, including Cease and outfielder Eloy Jimenez. Those two no doubt have the potential to wind up as long-term cornerstones for the White Sox.
Cease was a top 100 prospect when the teams swung the deal, but his stock has soared even higher since he changed Chicago organizations. Cease now ranks as MLB.com’s 19th-best prospect, with Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo crediting the former Tommy John surgery patient’s fastball- and curveball-led repertoire and projecting he’ll become an “impact” major leaguer.
So far in Charlotte this year, Cease has pitched to a 4.10 ERA/3.65 FIP with 10.08 K/9, 3.76 BB/9 and an excellent 57.7 percent groundball rate in 11 starts and 52 2/3 innings. Although that’s not a lights-out ERA, much of the damage came Sunday during a start in which Cease yielded four earned runs on two hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning. Hahn called that ugly outing “a really good developmental day for” Cease, whom he expects to learn from it.
Depending on when Cease comes up (assuming he does debut this year), he could potentially have some say in a playoff race. Chicago’s certainly a long shot for the postseason, but at 3 1/2 games out of wild-card position, its hopes aren’t dead at this point. The White Sox would likely have a much better shot if they could’ve found superior complements for budding ace Lucas Giolito in their rotation.
Despite Giolito’s spectacular efforts, the team’s starters rank a lowly 25th in the majors in ERA and 26th in FIP. Reynaldo Lopez, Ivan Nova, Carlos Rodon, Dylan Covey and Manny Banuelos have each posted horrid run prevention numbers across at least seven starts apiece. Worsening matters, Rodon had season-ending Tommy John surgery a month ago and Covey went to the injured list Sunday with shoulder inflammation.
Of course, the White Sox have had to make do all season without one of Cease’s fellow standout pitching prospects, Michael Kopech, who underwent TJ surgery last September. The hope is Cease and Kopech will eventually provide two more superb options alongside Giolito. Cease just may get his first opportunity to emerge as a legit major leaguer sometime this summer.
I can’t wait for an ERA near or over six for months without getting optioned or having an opener lead it off for him because the White Sox are inept
Like Lopez, Nova, Covey, Banuelos, etc.
I’m sure you were calling for Giolito’s head last year too. They’re still rebuilding. Relax.
It is kinda sad Giolito had to go back to his high school coach to tweak his mechanics instead of a coach in the White Sox organization.
It could be worse.Check out the Pirates staff.
When you say to option these guys whose ERA hovers around 6, who do you suggest replace them in the rotation? Replace them in the rotation with pitchers even worse than them? That will certainly solve the problem.
And the Sox have so many great options for an opener. Most of these relievers are lucky to get out of an inning unscathed. Great call there.
And you’re calling the Sox inept?
Tired of watching the hot garbage SP retreads they put out there who can’t throw strikes!!! Meanwhile Reinsdorf laughing all the way to bank
Then stop watching. There’s not a whole lot a rebuilding team like the White Sox can do when they lose 2/5 of their future core rotation because of the Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon TJ surgeries, 3/5 if you also consider Dane Dunning part of that staff. They don’t want to rush Dylan Cease who will likely make his MLB debut in July or August anyway.
Hahn started saying the same thing about Jimenez in 2017..
…but made good on the expected promotion of Michael Kopech last summer, a much better comp to Dylan Cease. The White Sox also began conversations this past offseason for a potential long term extension with Cease, similar to what they agreed upon with Jimenez this past March in order to avoid the issue of MLB service time.
So we should expect Cease to hit the IL how soon after he is called up?
So they’re not bringing him up unless he agrees to an extension? Right…
It has nothing to do with his readiness and everything to do with their business model, in my humble opinion.
Welcome to major league baseball… It’s a business. Get used to it.
The ball change in AAA has ignited more runs and pitchers are feeling the effects. As usual, baseball caters to offense despite the irrefutable fact that aces equal ratings.
Pitiful considering baseball’s pace of play/length of game dilemma. They aren’t helping themselves by forcing an offensive explosion in their league(s).
Not saying I believe a conspiracy with the balls is in place, but that is certainly an interesting dilemma. Fans want offense, which lead to longer games, but they also want to have shorter games. Not sure how you are able to correct both with shrinking innings from 9 to 7, or a similar option.
You aren’t aware MLB wen’t to a new baseball in ’17 and switched to that ball this year in AAA, while the other levels stuck to the old one?
The only “ball change” in AAA is they’re now using the same ball they’re using at the big league level.
And like most whining, the “pace of play/length,” is driven by a very small amount of vocal but whinny people on twitter. The game’s fine.
Hahn has been talking out of both sides of his face for the past two years.
The team is actually within striking distance on the WC, yet he continues to treat the team as if it’s still in the middle of its rebuild. And he uses vague language to try and dupe fans into thinking he is only concerned for player development with these promotion delays.
Cease is ready. Call him up.
And why is it that they are within striking distance? Because according to “fans” Moncada and Anderson are a bust, Gioloto should have been sent packing last year, and Hahn made absolutely no quality acquisitions this off season (Colomé). Patience is important. Rushing Cease could have a negative impact on his career, for what? A long shot at a 1 game playoff that they would likely play on the road? Rebuilds suck, and the Sox actually havent done one in close to 20 years, and doing it right so you arent the Pirates is not an easy thing.
Cease isn’t being rushed. He has faired very well sans his last start pitching a beach ball in front of a bunch of beer league fielders in Charlotte. He has three pitches he can command. Just like Kopech last season, he is gaining nothing but probably frustration staying in Charlotte. What negative impact is there going to be by calling him up now? It’s time to stop straddling the fence and actually start playing to win. And BTW, I’m not a fan who gives up on players. I understand it takes probably a year to become a ML regular. All the more reason to have Cease in now.
Any person who honestly believes this team is a contender needs to learn about strength of schedule, BABIP and regression. They’ve outlucked their ex/wp% by 7 games.
The negative of calling him up now is that he starts his career vs. Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Rangers, Twins.
July 30th vs. the Mets is better for his development .(Mets, Tigers, A’s, Angels) Sox have a history of doing this.
Right. Because the Sox recent path of starting pitcher development that includes waiting for weak opponents has had tremendous long-term success.
God forbid he actually pitch well, or learn something from going against top talent.
How can you have tremendous long-term success if you’ve just started doing something recently?
Giolito regressed, Lopez has regressed (and had already pitched in playoffs) and Kopech was injured.
I’d argue that if you are worried about building confidence in pitchers, keeping them in the minors for no reason is more detrimental than having them face tough competition. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Cease imploded after finding out some has been was called up ahead of him. Kopech was certainly frustrated and lost focus.
No dono, the main reason that the Chisox are within striking distance of a playoff spot, is this: Over half the teams in the AL aren’t even trying too hard to make the playoffs. They are just looking forward to when they can start dumping players and improve their draft position.
The White Sox are rebuilding the right way. Loading up on impact players and then not rushing their rebuild. As a Brewers fan, I almost would have preferred this, but the Brewers got a bit lucky and hit on some of their own pitching prospects and made some trades where guys took off. But you guys are in the AL. You’re not ready to compete with Houston or others, so let your young studs develop. In a few years you could have an absolutely dominant rotation and some big time bats up the middle.
Also, what’s wrong with manipulating service time? Do you want your team to call a guy up early and lose a year when you don’t have a real chance to contend, or let him continue to develop and have him for an extra year while your window is open or even if you choose to trade him and he’s got more trade value.
If they’re going to call him, they should it after his next start, provided it’s not a dumpster fire, to get him back on track. But if he’s to learn this year, the sooner the better. Would rather wait until next year than have a two-month rookie “year.”
Sox a contender??? Not even close. And, as long as Cease has the chance at Super 2 status, Sox WON’T bring him up to the big club. They are going to manipulate his service time.
Besides this team will go no where until they stop bringing on other teams failed players. They need to start signing legit premium free agent talent to supplement with the younger talent. And that won’t happen as long as Reinsdorf controls the checkbook.
Correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t the super 2 deadline in May?
No, Super 2 deadline is different every year. The cutoff is the first 22% of the prospects that get promoted for that year. I think they have to stay up for a certain amount of time (for example, being the 26th man of a doubleheader doesn’t count). Sometimes it’s May, sometimes June, it’s possible even July. Generally you’re safe after the ASB, though I suppose in an extreme case it could be past the ASB.
Thanks for clarifying, @83sox94win05
Yeah, you’re safe after the ASB because it’s NEVER been that late. I don’t believe it’s EVER even been extended into July for that matter. The latest it’s been in the last decade+ has been the middle of June. The cutoff date is NOT set, but it’s almost always been between the 2nd week of May and the first week of June. To be safe you could wait until June 10th-15th and you’re not going to run into any problems. But the ASB? Maybe the Single and Double A all star breaks, certainly not the Big league ASB.
July 1 Cease will be pitching in the majors.
None of this is surprising. They aren’t a legitimate contender yet so there’s no need to rush Cease up. As much as I’d like to see him, it really isn’t that big of a deal at this point.
If they’re still playing these service time games next year when Robert, Madrigal, and Collins replace Tilson, Yolmer, and Castillo/Alonso, then I’ll start getting upset. At that point, 6 of their 9 starters will be long-term pieces. That’s when the focus needs to shift towards actually winning ballgames.
I don’t really care how they’re doing with players like Leury, Tilson, Yolmer, Alonso, and Castillo starting on a nightly basis. It’s fun to watch them play significantly better baseball, but as long as Moncada, Anderson, and Eloy perform (plus Abreu and McCann to a lesser extent), the results don’t really matter. You can throw Giolito, Lopez, and a couple BP pieces into that mix as well if you want to talk pitching (and Cease in the near future).
That’s too logical of a thought process and it’s worked too well for the Cubs, Astros, Braves, Phillies, Twins and pretty much every other team that’s gone through a long term rebuild.
Unless you get lucky and trade a bust for a guy who goes from a good player to a Ruthian type player like Yelich, the type of trade that seldom happens, you have to be patient. And thank the Cubs when you’ve got Elroy walking the Sox off vs the Cubs and Cease shutting them down over 8! I loved that trade when the Sox made it as a Brewers fan. I knew it’s be like the Chapman trade they made with the Yankees. Giving up future superstars!