Cease was scratched from his playoff start for Low-A Kannapolis on Tuesday due to shoulder fatigue, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports.
This move is supposedly just a precaution, and Cease is expected to participate in the instructional league. If he can indeed report to camp next year without any arm injuries, then 2017 will be seen as a huge success for the hard-throwing righty, who was the second returning prospect in the trade that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs. Cease has a 3.28 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 126 strikeouts in 93.1 innings across the two Low-A affiliates. Sadly, those 93.1 innings easily establish a new season high for the 21-year-old.
Do not let the 0-7 record fool you; Cease has loads of potential, as evidenced by his standout strikeout rate. On the season, he has a 123:43 K:BB in just 87.1 innings. A few less walks would be nice, but Cease is still just scratching the surface of his potential. He is a serious breakout candidate for next season.
Cease is one of two big names the White Sox are receiving in this deal, with outfielder Eloy Jimenez being the other one. At 21 years old, the right-handed pitcher was arguably the Cubs' top pitching prospect and has posted 74 strikeouts in 51.2 innings with Low-A South Bend this season.
Cease (ankle) gave up one run and struck out four across two innings in his return from the disabled list Sunday with Low-A South Bend.
Cease landed on the disabled list in late May with a sprained ankle, but Sunday's performance seemed to quell any concerns of lingering effects. With Sunday's outing, the right-hander now has a 2.75 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 36 innings on the season. He'll continue to develop as a starter barring any extraneous circumstances.
Cease (ankle) could return to the mound as soon as next week, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Cease has been on the disabled list since mid-May after tweaking his ankle, but it seems as if the issue is nearly obsolete. Prior to getting hurt, the pitching prospect had struck out 54 batters in 34 innings of work.
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