We’d best hope that whatever demons accosted Dylan Cease in Surprise tonight don’t plan on accompanying him back to colder climates.
Whether it stemmed from pitch clock-inspired urgency or just regular old bad command, tonight’s version of Cease was an ugly throwback to one of his bad outings before 2022. He recorded twice as many walks (four) as outs, and he fell behind to just about every hitter he didn’t walk, showing a pretty much complete inability to throw any of his off-speed pitches over the plate. The result? When he did occasionally send a fastball plate-ward, hitters were more than ready for it. The result of that? A whopping seven hits and 11 earned runs alongside two-thirds of an inning, which actually occurred over the course of two innings, neither of which Cease got to finish, thanks to liberal Spring Training rules regarding exits and re-entries for pitchers.
Meanwhile, the people who brought you “Nicky Lopez? did you know he’s from Naperville?” are BACK and better than ever, with a special presentation of “Michael Massey? He went to Brother Rice!”
MICHAEL MASSEY GRAND SLAM! #Royals— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) March 9, 2023
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Stream: https://t.co/wpmkYYIcRa pic.twitter.com/uR8ViEmBxc
Meanwhile, Sox hitters allowed Brad Keller to work his three-inning bullpen with minimal intrusion, a single from Gavin Sheets being the only break in the monotony. Billy Hamilton got the Sox on the board by rounding the bases after drawing a walk against Aroldis Chapman — who we are pleased to confirm looks roughly as washed as you’d anticipate someone who went from “closer on a 100-win team” to “possible Kansas City Royals setup man” in the span of 10 months — and subsequently inducing a throwing error.
Chicago’s second run was also a product of defensive incompetence on Kansas City’s part, as Bryan Ramos hustled out a bang-bang single, advanced on a *second* throwing error by second baseman Shervyen Newton, and scored on a Sebastian Rivero single bringing him perhaps a touch closer to Zavala in the catchers-named-Sebastian power rankings.A flurry of singles and walks resulted in a four-run inning, with further contributions via RBI singles from Carlos Pérez and Jake Marisnick.
Jake Diekman and Bryan Shaw threw a scoreless inning each, both looking relatively sharp, and Joe Kelly allowed his first run of the spring in his one inning of work. In spite of the two runs on his line, Rule V draft pick Nick Avila looked strong in his two innings, flashing a wicked curveball and allowing both runs after the Sox four-run seventh resulted in a 30-minute pause between appearances. Franklin Germán, who appears to be battling Avila for one of the two or perhaps three at-large bullpen spots likely to be available on Opening Day, once again flashed serious heat, allowing a walk and a hit but striking out two in Sox pitching’s final frame of the night.
The White Sox take on the Colombian national team at 2:05 p.m. CT tomorrow afternoon, as the group stage of the World Baseball Classic begins in earnest.
Who was today’s MVP?
This poll is closed
Jake Diekman (IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 SO)
Carlos Pérez (1-for-2, R, RBI)
Malachi Hayes (Watched a 14-5 Spring Training game for your benefit)
Who was today’s Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Dylan Cease (2/3 IP, 11 ER, 7 H, 4 BB)
Leury García (0-for-2, SO)
Yasmani Grandal (0-for-2, SO)
Victor Reyes (0-for-2, 4 LOB)