White Sox Minor Keys: April 9, 2019

Dylan Cease made his highly anticipated Triple-A debut during Game 1 of Charlotte’s doubleheader against the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday, and if his subsequent starts look anything like this one, fans are going to have a hard time playing the waiting game. (Especially if the rotation keeps looking like it does.)

Cease tossed five shutout innings against Norfolk, and he really only had to work out of trouble in the first. Each frame was easier than the one that came before, and he capped off his evening with back-to-back strikeouts. His last pitch was a fastball at 97:

He gave up three hits, including a pair of singles — one weak, one legit — to open his evening. He came back with some heat in the kitchen to induce a double play that got him on track.

He allowed a two-out single in the second, after which he retired the next 10 batters, which also happened to be the last 10 batters he faced. He sat 96 mph, using the fastball to get through the first time in the order, then pitching backward more often during the second half of his evening. Cease said he felt locked in for good by the end of the second inning, but he added that he had command of his breaking pitches from the get-go.

Of his secondary offerings, Cease threw his high-70s 12-to-6 curve more often than anything, although he threw his harder breaking ball and changeup a little more often toward the end of his evening. He got a swinging strike on a change in the fourth, but his curveball did the heavy lifting, both for grabbing strikes and finishing moves:

Given the fact that Dylan Covey spearheaded a one-hitter on the back end of the doubleheader, one may want to let Cease face a couple more opponents before officially stumping for his promotion. That said, he did just about everything you’d want to see him do in his first start with Charlotte except go six innings and 90 pitches, and he’s building up toward that.

Our Man in Charlotte Jonathan Lee got Cease’s self-assessment after the game.

“It felt good,” Cease said. “Commanded the fastball pretty well, threw offspeed for strikes, was able to attack the zone. No walks, not very many hits, so I’m happy with it.”

Charlotte 4, Norfolk 0 (Game 1, 7 innings)

  • Danny Mendick went 0-for-1 with two walks.
  • Seby Zavala, 1-for-3 with a double, walk and strikeout.
  • Dylan Cease: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 47 of 73 pitches for strikes.

More:

*Zavala also threw out a baserunner on a questionable call, but it remains impressive since the pitch was a curve in the dirt.

Charlotte 3, Norfolk 0 (Game 2, 7 innings)

  • Danny Mendick went 1-for-3.
  • Zack Collins hit his fourth homer during a 1-for-3 night. He struck out once.
  • Dylan Covey, Zach Thompson and Thyago Vieira combined on a one-hitter, striking out 10.

More:

*Collins’ latest homer:

Wilmington 2, Winston-Salem 1

  • Luis Robert went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Carlos Perez went 2-for-4.
  • Codi Heuer: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
  • One small step for Alec Hansen: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, eight of 14 pitches for strikes.

More:

*The Dash turned the first triple play of the year, with Yeyson Yrizarri starting an around-the-horn 5-4-3 with Johan Cruz and Jameson Fisher.

Delmarva 8, Kannapolis 5

  • Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Luis Curbelo, 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
  • Steele Walker and Bryce Bush both were 2-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Amado Nunez wore the silver sombrero during an 0-for-5 night.
  • Kade McClure: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP, 43 of 63 pitches for strikes.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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ParisSox

Nice to see McClure back in action.  

itaita

Not saying its been a bad run of luck for pitchers but when i saw Cease in the headline pic i first assumed his arm fell off or something.

And do we have any comment or idea on how the Sox are going to work with Hansen? Im wondering how much longer hes gonna be a 1 inning guy. And has there been any comments on what his Velo has been at?

asinwreck

Alec Hansen has not yet issued a walk in 2019.

Smclean09

Anyone know if he is throwing from the stretch or still using a wind up out of the pen?

5742mail

If Cease had sign major league contract would he had stated the season with the big club. So the Sox say Robert has the tools to match most ML players, but need to stay down to get acclimated to pro ball. Wouldn’t it be better for him to get acclimated playing with Eloy and Yoan, and having Abreu as role model.

karkovice squad

For Cease: there also aren’t any pitchers who’ve signed guaranteed pre-promotion deals. Archer and Moore are the only ones to sign with less than a year of service time. Making a guy with a repaired UCL the first seems unlikely.

phillyd

Does anyone else find the start times for the Charlotte DH odd? 6:05 for game 1 meant game 2 started pretty late. Not many people in the stands to see Collins’ dinger.

NDSox12

Game 1 didn’t actually start until about 7:15 due to a rain delay, so that didn’t help.