Dylan Cease figures to be a big key to whether the White Sox can live up to their World Series aspirations in 2021.
The talented but unproven right-hander struggled in 2020. Though he cut his ERA down significantly from his rookie season in 2019, that number obscured his persistent trouble with walks, home runs and jams. The White Sox weren't confident enough to turn to him in the decisive Game 3 of the AL Wild Card Series, which saw the South Siders eliminated from their first postseason appearance in a dozen years.
After acquiring Lance Lynn this winter, the White Sox have undoubtedly bolstered their rotation in a big way. But the starting staff could potentially benefit even more, if Cease and fellow youngster Michael Kopech can live up to their enormous potentials.
The work has already started for Cease, who's hoping for a Lucas Giolito style turnaround that could answer the big questions on the back end of the White Sox rotation. And he'll have the help of the same person who helped Giolito turn his career around two offseasons ago. Ethan Katz, who was Giolito's pitching coach in high school and has worked with him since, is the White Sox new pitching coach, and he has big plans for Cease.
As for how that offseason work is going, we got a glimpse Tuesday, with an Instagram video that showed off Cease's updated delivery.
If Katz can work the same magic with Cease that he worked with Giolito — who since that offseason overhaul turned into an All Star, the ace of the South Side staff and a no-hitter thrower — then a White Sox team that already has made its case for being the top team in the American League will be even better.
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