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White Sox Daily: The Kids Never Cease to Amaze

A recap of all the recent happenings from Sox Spring Training.
Photo: Chicago Sun-Times/John Antonoff

Photo: Chicago Sun-Times/John Antonoff

The kids never Cease to amaze…

I was asked on Wednesday evening by a user on Twitter about Dylan Cease’s fastball command in his start against the Milwaukee Brewers, and I told him that I thought it was excellent.

Dylan Cease took it one step further, telling reporters that he felt like it was his best fastball command ever. After all, he did fire off 40 strikes in just 58 pitches en route to four crisp innings of one-run baseball in Maryvale on Wednesday afternoon. The lone run on the outing — a long home run by Keston Hiura — was what Cease deemed, “a hanging curveball,” which he didn’t seem all that worried about.

After struggling with command of his fastball, walks, and getting deep into games in 2019, Cease has six innings of work this spring and has allowed one run, struck out eight, and walked zero opposing hitters.

Cease wasn’t the only youngster who had a favorable Wednesday afternoon though, as Luis Robert, Luis Gonzalez, and Andrew Vaughn were all notables in my mind on the day as well.

Luis Robert was 2-3 on the afternoon with a pair of singles, a stolen base, and a run scored. He’s now 7-18 at the dish this spring with a 1.172 OPS, a pair of walks, and three stolen bases. He’s also only struck out four times in 20 plate appearances thus far.

First-baseman Andrew Vaughn picked up an RBI single — his sixth hit of the spring — on the afternoon and now has a home run, two doubles, four runs batted in and four walks to boot in his Cactus League debut.

Outfielder Luis Gonzalez is also doing nothing but hitting this spring. His two-run double on Wednesday afternoon was his second double and his third, fourth RBI’s of the spring.

While some of the veterans have looked underwhelming at the dish this spring, the kids have looked pretty damn good.

Don’t mess this one up, Ricky.

Once again on Wednesday, we saw the Moncada-Anderson combo at the top of the White Sox lineup, which we’ve seen a few times this spring. We’ve seen it more times than the other way around — to the best of my recollection — to this point.

Stop it, Ricky. Please, don’t overthink this one and screw it up.

If you’re deadset on having Moncada and Anderson at the top, then you have to hit Anderson before Moncada. Here’s a couple of painfully obvious reasons why;

  1. Moncada has literally said — this spring — that he feels most comfortable hitting in the two-hole.
  2. Moncada has a career OPS+ of 134 (105 games) in the two-hole, and a career OPS+ of just 88 (106 games) in the leadoff spot. In 2019 alone, Moncada had an OPS+ of 143, a .604 SLG%, and a 1.005 OPS in the two-hole. Conversely, he had an OPS+ of 64 in the leadoff spot.
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That’s it. That’s all the reasoning that anyone of the sound mind would need to hit Moncada in the two-hole for the rest of eternity. Keep it simple, Ricky.

Yas on the Mend

Prized free-agent acquisition, Yasmani Grandal — who has been slowed by a calf strain this spring — saw his first game action on Wednesday in a b-game on the Camelback Ranch backfields.

Grandal caught three innings and had two plate appearances — one of which he doubled in — in the contest against the Reds. White Sox skipper Ricky Renteria said that Grandal could be on track to catch a few innings on Friday when the club takes on the Cubs in Mesa.

White Sox 5, Brewers 1

As I mentioned at the onset, Dylan Cease was sharp as can be against the Brewers on Wednesday, but it wasn’t until the Sox rallied for a trio of runs in the seventh inning that they took control of Wednesday’s contest for good.

Andrew Vaughn (RBI single) and Luis Gonzalez (two-run double) provided the fireworks for the White Sox in the seventh as they jumped ahead of the Brewers, 4-1.

Andrew Romine’s triple in the eighth plated Jacob Brugman to stretch the lead to four, where it would stay as the Sox claimed a 5-1 victory over Milwaukee, their sixth win of the spring.

After Dylan Cease’s four innings of work, Codi Heuer, Jacob Lindgren, Caleb Frare, Kodi Medeiros and Vince Arobio combined for five innings of scoreless baseball out of the bullpen.

The White Sox are back in action today, taking on the Colorado Rockies at Camelback Ranch. First pitch is at 2:05 pm central time and Drew Anderson will get the start for the White Sox.

Zack Burdi, Alex Colome, Ross Detwiler, and Jose Ruiz are among the relievers scheduled to throw in this one.

Dylan Cease, fastball (called strike) & breaking ball (Swinging K), overlay with tails — courtesy of the Pitching Ninja

Andrew Vaughn hits... rinse and repeat

Lets hold on to this one...

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