Many stars from Major League Baseball could claim to have been snubbed from their respective All-Star rosters but none more significant than the White Sox ace, Dylan Cease. Yes, you read that right, Dylan Cease is and will continue to be the ace of the southside staff. While some thought Lucas Giolito would lead the rotation for the Sox in 2022, Cease has been their stopper. While the first half has been anything but great for the Southsiders, Cease has been electric. Cease led all of major league baseball in strikeouts prior to the all-star break with a whopping 150. Cease also finished third in baseball up to the break with a 2.15 ERA.
The only knock people can give Cease is his walk rate. Cease also led all of baseball with 48 walks, leading to his WHIP ( walks + hits per inning pitched ) of 1.185. While the WHIP is higher than the Sox and their fans would like it makes his 2.15 ERA even more impressive. Cease’s opponents have an abysmal batting average of just .197 and an on-base percentage of .290 against him. While the .290 is much better, it can be attributed to again his walk rate. Cease’s worst start of the season was probably in May against the Yankees and their terrifying lineup. Cease lasted just 4.0 innings and gave up six earned runs, while still striking out eleven. Yes, eleven of 12 outs were recorded via the strikeout. Another crazy tweet about the ace’s first half came from @BetweenTheNums.
Told you So
Before the 2022 season started I wrote an article titled Cease Fire: 2022 Cy Young Candidate. While watching Sox games over the course of the past three and half seasons, you could see it coming. Cease has had the best “stuff” on the staff for a good portion of the time period he has spent with the big league club if not all of it. The incredible break on his curveball or the disappearing act of his slider were and are a thing of beauty. Couple that with an amazing fastball at or above 98 mph with a good ride and you have yourself an All-Star. Well, you should have an all-star, and better yet a Cy Young candidate in the American League in 2022.
While Cease has been great and has surpassed slugger Eloy Jimenez as the biggest acquisition from the Cubs in the infamous Jose Quintana trade, there is more meat on this bone. Cease tends to get a little cute sometimes while ahead in the count and leads to a couple of issues for him that could be solved with a little more aggression. His walk rate could possibly be partially contributed to this as well. Pitching to contact a bit more could be a good thing for Cease however, it could inflate the ERA and would obviously deflate the strikeout rate.
Adding Fuel To The Fire
While Dylan continues to cruise in 2022, the Sox will need him to continue to be elite every time out. Major League Baseball and all who voted for the All-Stars this year may have given the White Sox starter every incentive to be even better in the second half. Cease being left off the AL All-Star roster could be great bulletin board material not only for Cease but for the entire Sox roster who want to “Change The Game.”
The White Sox are frequently forgotten by MLB and feeling disrespected is the type of thing that can light a fire that quickly spreads throughout an entire clubhouse or locker room. If the Sox do catch fire, despite skipper Tony La Russa’s best efforts to mess it up, and win the AL Central for the second straight season, this could be one reason why. The talent is there and they are led by 26-year-old Dylan Cease.
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