White Sox, Dylan Cease will be on lookout for tipping tendencies
“I’d rather not tell you the signs I’m looking for but we’re going to look and see if there is anything there with our guy,” manager Rick Renteria said.
ATLANTA — Neither rookie right-hander Dylan Cease nor White Sox manager Rick Renteria was revealing Friday how Cease might be tipping his pitches — as Renteria suggested after the Twins roughed up Cease for eight runs and 10 hits in two-plus innings Thursday.
“I’d rather not tell you the signs I’m looking for, but we’re going to look at it and see if there is anything there with our guy,” Renteria said.
He seemed to retreat a little from the notion that tipping was the primary cause of Cease’s woes.
“A lot of times it’s just guys missing their location,” Renteria said.
Cease’s velocity and the break on his curve are as good as it gets, so that’s not the issue. Cease, pitching coaches Don Cooper and Curt Hasler and Renteria are reviewing video to see if anything can be detected.
“We’ve been looking at it, so we’ll continue with that,” Cease said. “It’s just something I’m going to have to keep looking at.”
Cease, the Sox’ top pitching prospect after the rehabbing Michael Kopech, will take a 3-7 record and 6.92 ERA into his next start. He has 53 strikeouts in 52 innings over 10 starts.
“It’s encouraging that my stuff has been, for the most part, where it needs to be,” he said. “Now I just have to use it better.”
He said his main issue this season at Class AAA Charlotte was his fastball cutting too much.
“I’ve straightened that out, for the most part,” he said. “It’s just something I’m going to have to keep working on.”
LOSING SPEED ISN’T LOPEZ’S THING
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez said he feels strong heading into September, and the speed gun backs it up.
“My arm feels good. My body feels good,” said Lopez, who will face Braves left-hander Dallas Keuchel on Saturday. “Mentally and physically, I am good.”
In five starts in August — including last Sunday’s, when Lopez pitched five innings of no-hit ball against the Rangers despite having flu-like symptoms and dehydration — his four-seam fastball averaged 96.92 mph, according to Brooks Baseball. That’s his best average for a month in three seasons.
“Some guys go through a time, sometimes toward the end of the season, when the velocity goes down,” Lopez said. “My arm is a weird arm because I feel good at the beginning of the season, and then in the second half I feel stronger than in the first half.”
Lopez is 4-3 with a 2.82 ERA over nine starts in the second half.
SEPTEMBER CALL-UPS? NOT SO FAST
Rosters can be expanded Sunday, but the timing of some Sox call-ups in September could be affected by Charlotte’s possible postseason play.
“The conversations have been kind of limited,” Renteria said. “We’re allowing that Charlotte club fighting for a wild-card spot to play itself out and determine who we’ll bring. I’m sure it won’t be a large contingent of players. But the ones we bring up will get an opportunity to play. We don’t want to bring guys up and have them sit on the bench.”
Among the possibilities: catcher Zack Collins; right-handers Carson Fulmer, Jose Ruiz and Dylan Covey; left-hander Manny Banuelos and infielder Danny Mendick. V