Do you remember when the Opening Day roster was set and Jake Burger wasn’t on it? Of course you and the rest of the White Sox fan base don’t. Since coming up on April 5, he has 22 hits — 16 of those for extra bases, and 10 of them home runs.
Needless to say, Burger has made it impossible to send him back to Charlotte.
Stories like Burger’s make a 16-28 record not quite as bad. An abundance of runs, especially home runs, make a starting pitcher’s job more manageable. Dylan Cease will be hoping the offensive surge continues this afternoon during his start against Cleveland.
The righty is coming off of a scoreless outing against Houston where he went six innings, walked two, and struck out five. Cease located his pitches well against the Astros ,which held them to just four hits. He has been utilizing his 4-seam fastball and slider relatively evenly this year. However, when broken down between right-handed batters versus left-handed batters, Cease uses his slider more against right-handed hitters and the four-seamer more against left-handed hitters. The slider wins out a little more than half of the time in two strike counts. Another dominant outing is needed from Cease this afternoon in order to secure a sweep. He will look to take advantage of one of the league’s worst offensive teams.
Facing off against Cease is Cleveland’s No, 8 prospect Logan Allen. This is the rookie’s fifth career start. In 21 innings, he has struck out 24 batters and holds a 3.43 ERA. He has four pitches in his arsenal, a 91.8 mph four-seamer being used the most (49%). A sweeper, changeup, and cutter are the other pitches White Sox hitters might see today. Right-handed batters are likely to see the fastball with two strikes while left-handed hitters are probably going to see the sweeper.
Yasmani Grandal left the game last night after an awkward swing appeared to flare up whatever leg issues he has been working through. Skipper Pedro Grifol announced after the game he would be day-to-day. Apparently, day to day means he is good to go today. Grandal is batting fifth in the DH spot. Burger’s slugging has earned him the prize of cleanup duty. Noticeably not in the lineup are Yoán Moncada and Gavin Sheets.
The White Sox will not have to see Josh Naylor yet again this afternoon, as he is still out of the lineup for Cleveland.
First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. CST. You can watch on NBCSC or listen on ESPN 1000.