CHICAGO (AP) — A downpour on Tuesday night shouldn’t delay the major league debut of Chicago White Sox pitching prospect Dylan Cease
Tuesday’s game between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers was postponed by rain nearly an hour after the scheduled first pitch. It will be made up on Sept. 27 as part of a straight doubleheader.
But the 23-year-old Cease is still scheduled to start the first game of a split doubleheader on Wednesday against Detroit, facing lefty Daniel Norris. Chicago left-hander Ross Detwiler will take the mound in the nightcap against Tigers lefty Tyler Alexander, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo to make his major league debut.
Cease hadn’t yet been recalled from Triple-A Charlotte following Tuesday’s rainout, but the prized White Sox right-hander, weather permitting, is ready to go. Ranked as the No. 18 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, Cease was part of the five-player trade in July 2017 that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the crosstown Cubs and brought outfielder Eloy Jiménez to the South Side.
“I think he’s a young man who has been talked about a lot,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Obviously an impressive arm and we’re just pretty excited to get our eyes on him at the major league level and allow him to do what he does.
“It’s going to me memorable no matter what, but we hope he has a nice afternoon tomorrow and continue from there.”
Cease’s debut isn’t intended as a spot start. The White Sox desperately need another arm for their depleted rotation, especially with top prospect Michael Kopech and lefty Carlos Rodon out until next season following Tommy John surgery.
Cease is 5-2 with 4.48 ERA in 15 starts at Charlotte. Before pitching a scoreless inning in his last outing on Thursday, he had allowed 13 earned runs over 11 1/3 innings in three previous starts.
“His last few outings weren’t as impressive as everybody wanted them to be,” Renteria said. “I think there was a thought that maybe it was time for the challenge and see if he can raise his game up a little bit.”
Renteria said All-Star catcher James McCann will be behind the plate “to work his magic” with Cease and “allow him to get comfortable.”
Light rain started falling Tuesday night as scheduled starter Reynaldo López walked in from the bullpen minutes before his scheduled first pitch. Just as he reached the dugout, it became a lightning-punctuated deluge that lasted for 90 minutes and soaked Guaranteed Rate Field.
After the game was called, Renteria said he wasn’t sure when Lopez’s next turn will be slotted into the rotation. The right-hander, 4-7 with a 6.12 ERA, was scheduled to face Detroit left-hander Matthew Boyd, 5-6 with a 3.72 ERA. Boyd’s start was moved to Thursday afternoon in Chicago.
Although Lopez allowed three runs in no-decisions each of his previous two starts, he entered with a 1-3 record and 7.61 ERA in his last seven outings.
The Tigers have lost nine of their last 10 and 13 of 15.
Tuesday night’s game is the third postponement between the two teams, including April 20 at Comerica Park and April 27 at Guaranteed Rate Field. The clubs are scheduled to play split doubleheaders on Wednesday and Aug. 6 in Detroit.
Former White Sox DH and outfielder Harold Baines, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 21, told media before the game that his speech a Cooperstown won’t be the shortest ever.
“No, I think one guy said ‘thank you’ and sat down,” the notoriously laconic Baines said. “I’ll definitely beat that.”
A six-time All-Star, Baines started his 22-year career with the White Sox and played in 14 seasons with them. Baines was selected by the Today’s Game Era Committee after being passed over the Baseball Writers’ Association of America during his time on the ballot.
Detroit: INF Jordy Mercer, reinstated from the 10-day IL on Monday, was scheduled to start at shortstop and bat eighth on Tuesday. Mercer has been out since May 8 with a right quad strain.
RHP Cease faces LHP Norris (2-7, 4.62) in the opener on Wednesday. LHP Alexander takes the mound against Detwiler (1-0, 3.60)
The 33-year-old Detwiler earned his first major league win in nearly three years last Friday when he tossed five effective innings against Minnesota. Alexander, a Chicago native, was 2-9, with a 6.23 ERA in 15 outings at Toledo.