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Dylan Cease has a solid start in the 1st Cactus League


SURPRISE, Ariz. — Dylan Cease is in line to start opening day for the Chicago White Sox.

The aforementioned experienced right winger countless times in trade speculation He took the next step in that direction during the offseason — in his first Cactus League start on Saturday, flashing a high-90s fastball while pitching two scoreless innings against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium.

Cease allowed two hits, struck out one and struck out one in 33 pitches in the 14-3 loss. He described the trip as “solid.”

“I wasn’t pretty automatic, but I was mostly landing a lot of strikes,” Cease said. “The material was really sharp, I was very happy with it.

“I feel like I was in a great spot earlier this year and we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

Cease said early in the spring he focused on attacking in the offensive zone, getting forward and getting the ball fast. He largely achieved those goals on Saturday.

“It’s hard to replicate that kind of intensity when you’re in the backfield,” Cease said. “That’s nice because recalibrating to that high intensity is a whole different process in itself. It’s really nice to get back and start high intensity workouts.

“We used a lot of heaters, didn’t throw a lot of balls, but today the slider was really sharp.”

He threw nine pitches in the first inning and hit 97 mph with his fastball. Cease allowed a single to left fielder Wyatt Langford but grounded first baseman Nathaniel Lowe into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Cease struck out designated hitter Jared Welsh, who appeared in the second of the second inning with a runner on first. He walked Matt Duffy but got Josh Smith to fly out to right to end his day.

Photos: An inside look at White Sox spring training

Cease thought it was “awesome” to handle situations where runners were on the field.

“It simulates getting into trouble a little bit,” he said. “It would be ideal if everyone was in 1-2-3, but it doesn’t always work that way, so holding runners, having to pick-off, simulation is great because all kinds of weird things happen throughout the season.”

Manager Pedro Grifol and pitching coach Ethan Katz spoke fondly of Cease’s sharpness early in camp. Katz recently noted: Adjustments to Cease’s acceleration We got rewarded for it.

“The only thing you have to think about with Dylan is his workload over the last three years,” Katz said on Feb. 22. . Things you need to be very careful about when talking about an increase.

“The first year he was working on a lot of things. In the second year, he is trying to find his place, so to speak. We knew last year which direction he was going. I gave him a little runway going into camp this year. “We asked him to do some things a little differently and it seemed like that really helped him.”

Cease described 2024 as “the best year I’ve been in spring training in I don’t know how long.”

“I went through moves that I positioned almost effortlessly,” Cease said. “I haven’t been that comfortable lately, but it’s getting closer and towards the end of spring I’ll be pretty locked in.”

stop Written as the beginning of opening dayThat seemed unlikely in an offseason filled with trade talks.

“He’s here, he’s wearing our uniform, he’s our starter on opening day,” Grifol said. “I smile every time I see him.”

Rumors about a potential deal have faded recently.

“I don’t know if it exists right now, but I don’t care,” Cease said.

Cease is excited about what he sees from his fellow pitchers in camp. Michael Kopech scores five points Erick Fedde, who had two innings against the Cubs on Friday, is scheduled to start against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday in Tempe, Ariz., and Garrett Crochet is also listed for the job. And Michael Soroka and Chris Flexen are scheduled to pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday at Camelback Ranch.

“I think a lot of people are putting us to sleep,” Cease said. “You see how the ball leaves Michael’s hand right now. Garrett (two hits in 1 2/3 scoreless innings) Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers) is disgusting. Fedde is a very bad person, he detects his location very well. “I think this team has a lot of potential and I definitely think we’ve been sedated.”


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