White Sox rookie Dylan Cease striving for efficiency in second major-league start

Cease, who needed 101 pitches to get through five innings in his debut July 3, is hoping the long layoff won’t affect his feel.

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OAKLAND, Calif. — White Sox rookie right-hander Dylan Cease will start Tuesday against the Royals on 12 days of rest. That’s more than a double dose.

That might be wise as the Sox map out Cease’s workload for the rest of this season as a bridge to 2020, which likely will be his first full season on the roster.

The layoff also runs the risk of Cease not being sharp in the first inning Tuesday, but so be it.

‘‘I don’t anticipate it affecting my feel, but I guess we’ll have to see,’’ said Cease, who allowed three runs in five innings against the Tigers in his major-league debut July 3 and will have two side sessions under his belt between the starts. ‘‘Pretty much staying in my same routine. One side a week and [playing catch] spinning stuff, preparing [to pitch].’’

Cease said he needed to work on commanding his fastball, throwing more strikes and his slider at Class AAA Charlotte to earn his call-up.

‘‘Making sure the slider is harder than 80 [mph] and not the same as my curveball,’’ he said. ‘‘When you get to the higher level, all the little things add up to bigger things.’’

Cease struck out six and walked two against the Tigers and needed 101 pitches to get through five innings.

‘‘I need to be efficient,’’ he said. “Basically fastball command and not wasting pitches.’’

Castillo nears return

Catcher Welington Castillo (strained oblique) is expected to return from his rehab assignment at Charlotte during the road trip.

That might spell a return to the minors for rookie catcher Zack Collins, who is 2-for-26 and has started only four games behind the plate since his call-up June 18.

AJ Reed is expected to get most of the designated-hitter reps from the left side.

‘Worst stretch of my career’

Reliever Kelvin Herrera thought he was all the way back from Lisfranc surgery in his left foot after compiling a 1.59 ERA during a stretch of seven relief appearances in June, but things have turned sour for him recently.

Herrera had allowed nine runs (eight earned) and 10 hits over six appearances covering 3‰ innings before posting a scoreless eighth inning in the Sox’ 3-2 loss Sunday to the Athletics.

‘‘This is the worst stretch of my career,’’ he said.

Herrera said he’s not ‘‘going to reinvent myself. I’m going to trust my routine, keep working and attack hitters and see what happens.’’

He yielded soft singles to Matt Chapman and Matt Olson to put runners on the corners with no outs in the eighth, but right fielder Ryan Cordell threw out Chapman at home after catching a fly ball in foul territory for a double play before Herrera struck out Mark Canha to end the inning.

‘‘I have to savor this,’’ Herrera said. ‘‘I take the zero any way it comes.’’

This and that

Shortstop Tim Anderson (high ankle sprain) is taking batting practice, fielding grounders and moving well, but a rehab stint isn’t imminent.

‘‘He’s still not pushing off that leg as well as we’d like,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘But he’s healing. We’re going to be careful.’’

•  Eloy Jimenez homered for the first time as a DH in the seventh inning.

‘‘Just to get him off his feet,’’ Renteria said.

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