In this article, you will get all information regarding How White Sox starter Dylan Cease has become one of baseball’s best

A few hours before last Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field, Dylan Cease strolled back into the White Sox clubhouse with a smile on his face.

He had just been out by the Sox dugout being interviewed by MLB Network’s Mark DeRosa and Lauren Shehadi, hosts of the daily morning show “MLB Central.”

The obvious questions were asked.

“Why are you so good?”

“Why weren’t you invited to the All-Star Game?”

“Where did that slider come from?”

There were more.

DeRosa and Shehadi asked Cease what he had for breakfast. When he said omelette, they wanted to know what was in it.

They also wanted to know things like where Cease resides in the offseason, why he has a mustache, personal questions.

Silly, yes, but when you’re having a season like Cease is putting together, inquiring minds want to know all of the details.

While he’s never seemed comfortable with attention, the Sox’s 26-year-old starting pitcher understands why it’s been building.

“It’s definitely a lot different,” Cease said. “I haven’t done a whole lot of, I guess, picturing where exactly this would lead me. I’ve always been more of, what needs to be worked on right now?


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

“I’m satisfied with how this season’s gone so far but I don’t think I’ll ever kind of relax or take a day off with what I’m trying to do.”

Here is what Cease has done to this point.

• He made history after allowing 1 run over 6 innings in the White Sox’s 2-1 win over Texas Friday night.

Cease is now the first pitcher to ever allow 1 earned run or less in 13 straight starts, dating back to 1913. He was tied with the Mets’ Jacob deGrom at 12 in a row.

• He was voted American League Pitcher of the Month in June and July, becoming the first Sox pitcher to earn the honor twice in a season.

Cease was 2-1 with a 0.33 ERA in 5 June starts and 5-1 with a 0.76 ERA in 6 July starts.

• Heading into Saturday’s play, he ranked third in MLB with a 1.98 ERA, was tied for second with 166 strikeouts (in 122⅔ innings) and was tied for fourth with 12 wins.

Last year, Cease stepped up and showed he has top of the rotation potential, going 13-7 with a 3.91 ERA and striking out 226 in 165⅔ innings.

This year, he’s taken his game to the stratosphere.

“Dylan, we saw a pretty consistent second half out of him (in 2021) where he was one of the better starters in the league,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “I believe he was toward the top in terms of swings and misses in the zone for an extended period of time leading into this year. He cleaned up a few things over the course of the offseason and hasn’t looked back since.”

Command was always a problem for Cease. While his stuff is electric, it was rarely harnessed.

This season, Cease has been much better putting the ball where he wants it.

“I’ve really gotten past tinkering with mechanics,” he said. “I trust my mechanics now. When I tinker it’s where I’m putting my eyes, where am I aiming? More subtle details now.”

Locating his pitches better has helped Cease become one of the best starters in the game, and his slider has been devastating.

He’s thrown the pitch 42% of the time, according to Statcast. Cease’s 97 strikeouts on the slider lead the majors for a single pitch.

A mechanical adjustment with the slider has resulted in a huge payoff this season.

“I was just trying to get more depth on it,” Cease said. “For whatever reason, I just came up with, ‘Let’s try to put this deeper in my hand,’ and all of a sudden it kind of took off. I throw it harder now. I’m able to control it better.

“It was definitely one of those things where it clicked and it felt just natural and effortless, so that’s really what I’m striving for at the end of the day.”

While he was an All-Star Game snub, Cease is making a strong run at the AL Cy Young Award.

As it stands now, he’d finish second to Houston’s Justin Verlander. The 39-year-old righty is 15-3 with a 1.73 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 130 innings after making only 1 start in 2020 and missing all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

“I’ve been watching that guy since he debuted in (2005),” Cease said of Verlander. “I was 11. I’ve kind of always appreciated the greats, especially the power guys. What he’s doing is remarkable. Just missing the amount of time he did and to come back and essentially be a horse, and a guy a team can rely on, it’s unbelievably impressive.

“He was throwing 99 (mph) in the seventh or eighth (inning) the other day. I have a lot of respect for him.”

With each passing start, Cease is earning more and more respect for himself.

“I’m just trying to do the same thing every start, really,” he said. “The biggest emphasis for me is what I have to focus on to actually execute. I try not to get carried away with anything other than, ‘Hey, what’s my focus today?’

“I try to visualize it, try to focus on it. I think that’s maybe where consistency comes from. I’m just trying to take the ball, execute pitches and be stable and be someone that can be relied on.”



How White Sox starter Dylan Cease has become one of baseball’s best

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