An 0-9 start in a new organization was not the start Dylan Cease had hoped for when he was traded over to the White Sox from the Cubs in the Jose Quintana trade. That was the reality that Cease faced entering his Friday the 13th match-up against the Carolina Mudcats. As it turned out, the infamously unlucky day turned out to be Cease’s lucky day.
Cease was strong from the beginning to the end of his six inning performance Friday. Demonstrating the same explosive fastball and devastating curveball that put Cease on the map with many Sox fans during spring training, Cease cruised.
Despite some mild control troubles, Cease managed to walk only two batters while striking out five and allowing only two hits.
While an 0-9 record can never be entirely blamed on the pitcher, tonight Cease was out to make sure his unfortunate streak did not reach double digits. For as impressive as Cease was, it was the lineup that made sure Cease would not go win-less any longer. A four-run second and four-run fifth allowed Cease to leave the game with an eight run lead. Outfield mates Luis Basabe and Micker Adolfo combined for five hits to lead the offensive onslaught for Winston-Salem.
Despite Cease’s dominating start, the things that are keeping him from the majors were still evident. The lack of a quality third pitch was clear, although signs of a developing changeup were evident. Cease’s control was strong, but not perfect.
His flaws may be clear, but the raw stuff is still there and will continue to develop all season. Expect to see Cease finish the year in Birmingham and keep an eye on him for the rest of the year.