Cease is looking to build off his first season in the majors and will introduce a tweak to his mechanics, Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald reports. Cease's MLB debut was a bumpy one, as he went 4-7 with a 5.79 ERA in 14 starts. "One of (the things I learned) was more a physical adjustment with my front side," Cease said. "Not getting too rotational on my front side, that's the main thing that's going to be different. I think that's one of the big reasons I was having cutting issues with my fastball." Cease, who permitted 4.3 BB/9 and 1.8 HR/9, hopes the mechanical adjustment will allow him to pitch deeper into games. While his overall numbers were not pretty, the right-hander finished on an up note, allowing seven runs over 21 innings (3.00 ERA) with 28 strikeouts and 12 walks in his final four starts. He's expected to slot in as the fourth starter in the rotation.
Cease allowed three runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batsman while striking out three over three-plus innings in Monday's spring game against the Reds. Cease's third spring start was not like his first two. The same issues he had last season -- command, walks, one bad inning -- resurfaced for the first time this spring. He lost command during a two-run third inning when the right-hander walked three and hit a batter. Just 36 of his 64 pitches landed in the zone.
Cease allowed one run on three hits while striking out five over four innings in Wednesday's spring game against the Brewers. Cease upped his pitch count to 58 (40 strikes) and hit 98 mph on the gun during his second spring start. He battled an elevated walk rate in 2019, but Cease has yet to walk a batter in six spring innings. "Yeah, that was probably the best I've ever commanded my fastball," Cease told Scott Merkin of MLB.com. "Really, for most of the spring, my fastball command has been good, so it's just a continuation of the process I'm working on.
Cease threw two scoreless innings, striking out three and walking none in his spring debut Sunday against the Reds, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Cease made a strong first impression in game action after focusing on a mechanical tweak in the early portions of camp. He touched 99 mph with his fastball multiple times while also executing his curveball, slider and changeup throughout the outing. A high-pedigree prospect, Cease will look to improve on his 5.79 ERA through his first 14 starts in the big leagues.
Cease (hamstring) made a mechanical adjustment during the offseason designed to make his fastball more effective, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Cease, who finished with a 5.79 ERA in 14 starts in the majors, said he was getting too rotational on his front side, which in his opinion led to cutting issues with his fastball. Opponents teed off on the right-hander's heater, slugging .611 against it in 2019, per BrooksBaseball. Cease averaged a little more than five innings and 97 pitches per start, with innings one (9.00 ERA) and two (9.64) particularly troublesome. He's hoping the adjustment leads to fewer pitches per inning and deeper outings.
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