White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 24, 2018

Dylan Cease (Jim Margalus / Sox Machine)

The White Sox shut down Dylan Cease for the season, and for the good reason — he’d done enough for 2018.

Cease went out on a high note, closing his year with five shutout innings and 11 strikeouts in the Barons’ victory over Jacksonville. That lowered his Birmingham ERA to 1.72 over 10 starts, and gave him one helluva line when combining his Winston-Salem stats:

BHAM 3-0 1.72 10 52.1 30 11 10 3 0 22 78
W-S 9-2 2.89 13 71.2 52 31 23 5 3 28 82
2 Teams 12-2 2.40 23 124 82 42 33 8 3 50 160

The 124 innings is a 30-inning jump over his 2017 season, which was also his previous career high.

Cease is now the clubhouse leader for the most successful season among White Sox prospects, as his leap forward helps make up for Alec Hansen’s big step back and Dane Dunning’s injury. Eloy Jimenez is probably the only one who can threaten that status, and it’d require him doing some damage in the majors.

Jackson 3, Birmingham 0

  • Jeol Booker went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Luis Alexander Basabe was 1-for-4 with a K.
  • Zack Collins, 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Alex Call went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Danny Mendick was 0-for-3.

Winston-Salem 12, Buies Creek 3

  • Luis Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Luis Robert was 1-for-5 with a double, walk and three strikeouts.
  • Blake Rutherford was 1-for-5 with a K.
  • Gavin Sheets, 1-for-4 with a walk.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.
  • Laz Rivera went 0-for-3 with a walk, HBP and a strikeout.
  • John Parke: 6 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Augusta 11, Kannapolis 2

  • Luis Curbelo and Steele Walker were both 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Justin Yurchak went 1-for-2 with a walk.
  • Evan Skoug, 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
  • Andrew Perez: 1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3 HBP
  • Will Kincanon: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K

AZL Cubs2 6, AZL White Sox 1

  • Anderson Comas went 1-for-5.
  • Harvin Mendoza went 1-for-4.
  • Cabera Weaver, 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Lency Delgado and Camilo Quinteiro both were 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Anthony Coronado singled and struck out thrice.
  • Luis Mieses, 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.

DSL Padres 7, DSL White Sox 0

  • Sidney Pimentel went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Jose Rodriguez, 1-for-3 with a double, walk and strikeout.
  • Jerrick Francees was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
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Eloy doing damage in the “majors”. Ha! You kill me Jim.  

Brett R. Bobysud

The 3 most successful seasons by Sox prospects this year to me, in no particular order: Jimenez, Cease, Gonzalez.

Brett R. Bobysud

Here’s a question: does Cease start next year in Charlotte?


If he’s not in the majors the rebuild is a joke. Make sure all the boxes are checked. I was hoping for one start against the Cubs.

Lurker Laura

Barring a disastrous spring training, I’d say so. And he’s not skipping AAA, regardless of fan fantasies. AA to majors is too big of a leap for pitching in particular.

Brett R. Bobysud

Barring injury or regression, I think he starts 2019 in Charlotte and, if he does well, he’s pitching in Chicago by June.


What makes him different than Giolito, Lopez, and Kopech who had to wait until August?

Brett R. Bobysud

Call it a gut feeling more than anything.

The biggest reason to me is that Cease just really destroyed the Southern League in the 2nd half this year. He had one mediocre outing in his first start and then he never gave up more than 3 ER in a game thereafter.


Cease doesn’t need AAA in my opinion. His pitches are refined enough.


I think Cease starts in AAA, and if the Sox get off to a good start, he may be up by June. Otherwise, I think he’ll do the same thing as with Kopech, and we’ll be furious that he’s still in AAA in August.


That’s what’s going to happen I’d like to see him start the year in the pen and piggyback Kopech’s starts. All goes well move him into the rotation in July.

Brett R. Bobysud

This leads into the question as to what the Sox do for a 5th starter at the start of next year.

Barring injury (this is always the key), Rodon, Kopech, Giolito, & Lopez will all be in the rotation at the start of 2019. That leaves 1 spot open.

My guess is they’ll either sign a veteran pitcher (there’s quite a few that will be available this offseason) or give it to a young guy like Adams or Stephens.


I’d really like to know when they move Moncada off 2nd and where they move him to. It will have a huge impact on the course of the rebuild.


I think they will keep him at 2nd until Madrigal advances to where they know he will be their 2nd baseman of the future. We’ve seen other “can’t miss” prospects stall out in the minors. Plus it will depend on what they do in free agency this winter and next. If they get a third baseman in free agency and Madrigal makes it, he will end up in the outfield. But I don’t think they’ll move him yet, because there are still too many uncertainties. I would like to see him at 3rd, but I’d also like to see them sign Machado or Arenado.

Trooper Galactus

Madrigal’s .254/.314/.286 line since getting promoted to Winston-Salem should temper a lot of expectations for what he can provide. Yes, he makes contact consistently, but he just doesn’t have any sort of power at all that’s showing up in the game to make it work. Small sample still, yes, but even when he was raking in Kannapolis his power was hardly awe-inspiring. People trying to pencil him into the lineup in place of Moncada need to realize he has a ways to go before he’s major league ready.


He’s being penciled in because he was the third pick in the draft and the most advanced college bat. If he doesn’t replace Moncada at second Hostetler is the wrong guy for his job.


You’re right. If they sign a veteran, it will be someone for one year, because you’ve got Dunning and/or Cease who should be ready sometime next year. As bad as it sounds, I wouldn’t mind seeing them resign Shields (after not picking up his option). He would not be a bad 5th starter, and the young guys really like him.

Brett R. Bobysud

I wouldn’t mind that either.


or some other flip candidate. Remember when the Cubs signed Scot Feldman and then traded him for Arrieta and Strop? Hahn will be hoping to do that again next year.


Very good point.

Trooper Galactus

Shields is a possibility, though with pretty much zero upside and a very high likelihood of turning into a disaster from day one. Other possibilities with arguably more upside are Trevor Cahill, Nathan Eovaldi, Marco Estrada, Drew Pomeranz, and Tyson Ross, though it’s possible (if not likely) they will require multi-year commitments, which I doubt the White Sox want to delve into.

Trooper Galactus

I think they sign a veteran. The innings have to come from somewhere and none of those four is somebody you can bank on giving you 180+ innings. Adams and Stephens have shown enough to be depth pieces, but I wouldn’t think they’re a part of Plan A yet.


For building up his innings, how many innings would Cease be expected to go next season?


Probably another ~30 if healthy (150 IP). That’s assuming a September call up.

Brett R. Bobysud

140-150 sounds about right.

For comparisons, Kopech threw 136 innings between AA and AAA last year. He’s at 128 so far this year, so he’s on track to hit that mark.


The pitching can be something special next year, But if nothing is done to up grade center field and maybe 3rd base we might not see improvement. Three plus years of Adam Engel and in JB Shuck is more than any fan could stand.