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At 23, White Sox prospect Dylan Cease’s maturity is impressive

Dylan Cease throws a baseball at Camelback Ranch, the Spring Training home of the Chicago White Sox, in Glendale, AZ. 02-13-2019. | John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times

PHOENIX — From the first pitch White Sox catcher James McCann caught from pitching prospect Dylan Cease, he could tell Cease was special.

‘‘It was his first bullpen,’’ McCann said Monday. ‘‘I didn’t know who he was, this being my first camp with the White Sox. But just seeing his maturity, I thought he was a lot older than he was. You find out he’s only 23, and just his maturity and approach to the game are impressive.’’

Cease — the Sox’ No. 2 pitching prospect behind Michael Kopech, who will miss the 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery — is aware of all the hype surrounding him.

‘‘It doesn’t bother me, but I feel like there’s always more to do, always more to get better at,’’ he said. ‘‘So it’s always like I feel people need to understand that I still have a lot to learn and grow.’’

Cease made his second spring appearance Sunday in Cactus League play. He allowed one run and two hits, struck out two and walked two in 1⅔ innings.

‘‘Ball was coming out good,’’ Cease said. ‘‘I didn’t execute pitches very well, but it was better than my first outing. So it was a good step. I still have a couple of weeks to get my feel for it. I actually feel positive about it.’’

Cease, who earned a promotion to Class AA Birmingham from Class A Winston-Salem last season, has been building up to pitch three innings in his next outing. By the end of spring training, he would like to be able to get through five innings.

The Sox are taking things slowly with Cease, who pitched a career-high 124 innings last season. He likely will take a similar path to the one Kopech did last season and start 2019 at Class AAA Charlotte before being promoted to the majors sometime after the All-Star break.

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Cease said he hasn’t talked with manager Rick Renteria or general manager Rick Hahn about what they want him to do to prepare for his major-league debut this season.

‘‘I’m guessing probably when I go back to the minor-league side, we’ll have a conversation about that,’’ said Cease, who was named minor-league pitcher of the year by MLB Pipeline last season. ‘‘All I’ve been focusing on is getting my body ready and playing right now.’’

Delmonico works out

Four days after he left a game with a concussion, outfielder Nicky Delmonico passed a preliminary concussion test and rode a bike.

Delmonico, who suffered from headaches and light sensitivity after crashing into the left-field wall last week, still doesn’t quite understand how he suffered the concussion. He said he has hit the wall harder than that in the past.

‘‘I just remember going for the ball; I thought I caught it,’’ Delmonico said. ‘‘I felt like I was going to fall over and throw up on the field. I’m just glad I didn’t do that and have a meme about me.’’

This and that

The Sox claimed left-hander Josh Osich off waivers from the Orioles and put Kopech on the

60-day disabled list. Osich had a 4.96 ERA in 45⅓ innings with Class AAA Sacramento last season. He also appeared in 12 games with the Giants, posting an 8.25 ERA in 12 innings.

• Reliever Ian Hamilton still is feeling the effects of a car accident he was involved in last month. Renteria said Hamilton irritated his right (pitching) shoulder, but his MRI exam came back fine Sunday.