Dylan Cease is Opening Day starter, White Sox set pitching rotation
Dylan Cease is Opening Day starter, White Sox set rotation originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
It's official, Dylan Cease is the Chicago White Sox' Opening Day starter.
It shouldn't come as a surprise, Cease was the runner up for the American League Cy Young in 2022.
This offseason's focus for Cease was training his body to throw more innings over the course of the season, and hopefully a playoff push instead of pitching mechanics.
"The biggest thing is there's a lot less to work on," Cease said. "The previous season I had a lot of things that needed to be ironed out. Now it's more rest and making sure my body is prepared for the long run is a little more important right now."
The rest of the rotation, in order, will be Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Mike Clevinger and Michael Kopech.
Lynn is coming off a strong performance in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA. Lynn also finished third in AL Cy Young voting in 2021, the third straight season he finished in the top-six of Cy Young voting.
Giolito was 2022's Opening Day starter and slides down to third in the rotation order. Last year was rough for Giolito, whose ERA dropped to 4.90. Before the 2022 season Giolito had added weight, but worked to lean out before the 2023 campaign hoping to return to his 2019-21 levels.
"That was a bit of an experiment that might have gone wrong last offseason," Giolito said.
Giolito said his focus has been on the gym and nutrition to be lean and at a comfortable weight.
"For me being a big guy, it's really important to be athletic so I can repeat my delivery," Giolito said. "So that's been the main focus that I'm back down to a good weight."
Over that three season stretch Giolito's ERA was 3.47, with 526 strike outs, an All-Star nod and three appearances in final Cy Young voting.
Clevinger is the new face in the rotation and is looking for a bounce back season of his own.
Kopech suffered an injury late in 2022 and is looking to reach his potential in 2023.
"We have something to prove to ourselves, to the fans, to the league," Kopech told the media in Glendale. "Obviously we should have had a better season last year.
"We have the talent. We always seem to have the talent, but it's a matter of coming together and doing a lot of things right."
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