White Sox put Dylan Cease on injured list, no positive COVID test

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Vinnie Duber
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Cease to IL, no positive COVID test but symptoms present originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The White Sox placed Dylan Cease on the injured list Wednesday, the team's first precautionary COVID-related move of the 2021 season.

Cease has not tested positive for COVID-19, according to general manager Rick Hahn, but he is displaying some symptoms. The White Sox are utilizing the injured list to keep Cease away from the team out of what Hahn called "the appropriate amount of caution."

The injured list used for COVID-related reasons both last season and this season is different from the 10-day injured list baseball fans are familiar with. Cease is not required to stay on the injured list for the typical 10 days and, if all goes well, could conceivably be away from the team for just a day. But Hahn said he does not anticipate another roster move coming Thursday, the final day of the team's first home stand of the year.

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Cease is scheduled to start the first game of the White Sox six-game road trip through Boston and Cleveland on Friday. Hahn said the White Sox have contingency plans if Cease is unable to make that start, but he preferred to keep those internal for the time being.

The White Sox eschewed including a long reliever on the Opening Day roster, preferring that Reynaldo López, Jimmy Lambert and Jonathan Stiever continue to work as starters at the team's alternate training site in Schaumburg. With Lambert still working in Arizona, it would figure that López or Stiever would be the first minor league arm called on to fill in, if necessary.

White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz revealed Tuesday that had multi-inning reliever Michael Kopech not thrown Sunday, he could have been an option to start Monday in place of Carlos Rodón, who was scratched with an upset stomach. So if Kopech is rested come Friday, he could potentially be the first relief arm out of the gate for a modified bullpen day.

But the White Sox are hoping all that is unnecessary and Cease is cleared to start Friday.

Relief pitcher Zack Burdi, a Downers Grove native and first-round pick of the White Sox in 2016, was called up from the Schaumburg site to take Cease's spot on the active roster.

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