White Sox

Chris Beck to debut Thursday, Carlos Rodon returns Friday


Chris Beck to debut Thursday, Carlos Rodon returns Friday

TORONTO -- Chris Beck is in, Carlos Rodon is back and Hector Noesi may not be gone for long.

That’s the status of the White Sox rotation as manager Robin Ventura announced Beck would start the second game of a doubleheader Thursday while Rodon makes his next turn on Friday. Ventura also offered that Noesi, who was hurt by his defense in a 110-pitch effort on Monday, could get another start next week but is headed back to the bullpen for now.

“It’s a possibility (Noesi) would get another start somewhere in the next week, but as of right now, how it goes, he would be ready to go again probably Friday or Saturday,” Ventura said.

[MORE: More rest coming for Avisail Garcia]

In an effort to reduce Rodon’s workload, Noesi started in his stead on Monday. When he pitches again on Friday in Houston, it will have been nine days since Rodon’s last turn on May 20. The White Sox hope to keep Rodon’s 2015 inning total in check, though they haven’t stated a magic number. The belief is they’d like to limit their rookie left-hander to 150-160 innings.

With Chris Sale starting the opener on Thursday in Baltimore, the White Sox have elected to turn to Beck for Game 2. They will call him up as their 26th man -- something they also did on May 9 vs. Cincinnati. But unlike that game, when Beck warmed up in the bullpen, this time he’ll appear.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Beck, the No. 12 prospect in the organization according to MLB.com, is 3-2 with a 3.30 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A Charlotte this season.

“We got good reports on him,” Ventura said. “You might as well see what he’s got. We’ve gotten great reports on him, so we feel it’s a good time for him to come up and start and start that process.

“Control-wise he’s done great. When you start trying to figure out who’s going to throw that game, and you get reports on guys who are in the minor leagues and you see stuff, he’s been throwing as good as anybody. What he did in spring, as well as what he’s done now, you give him this opportunity.”

The learning process continues for Dylan Cease, who just had 'my best start of the year'

The learning process continues for Dylan Cease, who just had 'my best start of the year'

Dylan Cease's ERA is still north of 5.75.

He's not a finished product, no matter how much anyone wants him to be one.

"It would be ideal for me — and my ability to sleep — and everyone’s mood if these guys came up and dominated immediately," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday. "In reality there is a little bit of a learning process that goes on."

All these results, the ones that have contributed to that ugly ERA and some generally ugly outings over Cease's first couple months in the major leagues, are learning moments. Not convinced on the effectiveness of those learning moments? Just look to Lucas Giolito, who took all the struggles he had in 2018 and turned them into an All-Star 2019 season in which he's blossomed into the ace of the staff.

But, despite the hype, these guys aren't coming up finished products.

Cease, though, has flashed the potential that has earned him all that hype, and in no outing did he flash more of it than he did in Friday night's start against the visiting Texas Rangers.

Following the theme that seems to be developing in Cease starts, he had a pretty lousy inning early in the game, in this case the very first inning, in which he served up a three-run homer. The theme continues, though, that Cease usually uses all that composure and maturity everyone's always raving about to settle down and pitch a decent game. Friday night, he was more than decent. After the first inning, Cease retired the next 11 batters he faced and allowed just two hits (both singles) over five scoreless innings.

Cease, following in the tradition of perfectionist pitchers everywhere, hasn't been happy with previous outings that followed a similar script. This time, he was pleased. Maybe something to do with the career-best nine strikeouts.

"To me, that was just a huge confidence boost right there. Now I just need to not let those big innings happen," Cease said. "That's definitely my best start of the year today, besides that first inning."

"You had a couple of things going on," manager Rick Renteria said. "He had a rough first, we scored some runs, he holds them. We scored some more runs, he holds them. He kept doing that throughout. It's a big push. You see, there's a confidence-builder in that particular outing today. He should be happy how he ended up redirecting himself and righting the ship."

Cease's ability to do just that, right the ship, might give him a bit of a head start on his developmental process at the major league level. After all, Giolito and James McCann talk frequently about that issue plaguing Giolito in 2018. When things went wrong early, Giolito couldn't get back on track. He's been able to this year, contributing to his success. If Cease can do that from the day he hits the majors, that's a plus.

And if that's a tool Cease already has in his tool box, then the next step would be eliminating those early troubles. As good as Cease has looked at times, those numbers aren't lying. He's given up 32 earned runs in his 50 big league innings. He's given up 11 home runs in nine starts and has yet to have an outing without allowing a homer. Walks have been a sporadic issue: He walked just one batter in each of his last two starts but walked five in the outing prior and has three starts this year with at least four walks.

Again, learning process.

"His stuff is — it's electric stuff," Renteria said. "Sometimes you wonder, 'How can they hit him?' or 'How can they do this?' It's just (that they are) big league hitters. You leave something out over the plate or something they can manage, and they're going to do what they can do with it.

"As long as he continues to execute and use that stuff that he has, he's going to be OK."

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Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: It's Elvis night on the South Side


Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: It's Elvis night on the South Side

Scott Podsednik and David DeJesus join Leila Rahimi on Baseball Night in Chicago to discuss all things baseball.

They talk Yoan Moncada's comeback, Eloy Jiménez's injury, the Cubs' continuing bullpen struggles and more.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: