Before the White Sox conclude their four-game series against the Cleveland Indians at home on Sunday, the team announced their starting pitchers for the two-game series taking place in our nation’s capital. Reynaldo Lopez, who came over from the Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade, will start on Tuesday, and Dylan Covey will start on Wednesday. There is no word on who the Nationals will start as of now, but barring a rainout the Sox will not face Max Scherzer as he is set to start Sunday’s finale in Cincinnati.
This means that Manny Banuelos‘s next start will either be skipped or moved back a bit, as he last pitched in Thursday’s 10-4 win against Cleveland. He would normally be slated to start Wednesday’s series finale in D.C., but this doesn’t appear to be the case. This move isn’t all that surprising because the Sox have an off day on Monday, which allows for the other starters to stay on their normal schedules. Banuelos also hasn’t instilled the most trust as a starter. He particularly had a May that he would like to forget, closing the month with a 1-4 record and an unacceptable 11.95 ERA.
Banuelos could see his next start coming in the following series in Kansas City or next week in a two-game home series when the Nationals head to Chicago. However, as the team is in a decent position to compete and make some other American League teams sweat a little bit, the Sox could have also decided that they have seen enough of Banuelos in the rotation (I know I have). With a final stretch of winnable games coming in the two series against Washington and the three-game set in Kansas City, the schedule gets tough the rest of June with series against the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Rangers, and Twins. This is going to be an all-hands-on-deck kind of a stretch, and the Sox can’t afford to have Banuelos, or anyone else, serving up meat to these dangerous lineups. After a short road trip, the Sox have six home games slated, which would be a perfect window to ease Dylan Cease into the major leagues and get his first two starts in front of the home crowd.
There is speculation that this will be the case, and I’m all for it. He’s ready, arguably even more ready than Michael Kopech was for his MLB debut. He has ten starts with a 4-2 record, 3.00 ERA, and 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He will be better off facing tougher competition in the major leagues, and now is the perfect time to do so.
I will also be at Wednesday’s game in D.C., so follow me on Twitter @akinzler25 for some updates!
Featured Photo: Nam Y. Huh/AP