The White Sox are taking another step forward in their rebuilding process.
Manager Rick Renteria broke the news Sunday morning that Dylan Cease, the No. 3 prospect in the organization and the No. 18 prospect in baseball, will make his major league debut Wednesday, getting the start in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.
Cease, acquired along with Eloy Jimenez in the Crosstown trade that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs in July of 2017, went from just another promising pitching prospect to a potential ace of the future with a spectacular 2018 campaign. Splitting time between Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, he finished that season with a 2.40 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 124 innings.
General manager Rick Hahn spent the offseason saying that Cease would be on a similar track in 2019 that Michael Kopech was on last season, when he debuted in late August. Well, thanks to a strong start to the 2019 campaign, Cease is coming sooner, before the All-Star break.
Things haven't been all sunshine and lollipops for Cease at Triple-A Charlotte this year. He owned a 3.38 ERA after his first 11 starts of the season but has seen that number shoot up to 4.48 thanks to 13 earned runs allowed over just 12.1 innings in his last four starts. But Renteria described those less-than-ideal numbers of late as mere "hiccups" and expressed confidence that Cease is ready for the challenges that await at the big league level.
Like he did with Kopech and Eloy Jimenez before, Hahn has stated throughout the season that Cease would be promoted when the organization believed he was ready and not because of a need at the major league level. And that's proven to be the case, with Cease kept at Triple-A despite injuries and underperformance repeatedly punching holes in the White Sox starting rotation.
But Cease is coming up now and appears here to stay, as Renteria made clear Sunday.
It's another tangible example of rebuilding progress in a season that keeps seeing more and more of those as the White Sox steam toward potentially opening their contention window in 2020. The great first-half performances of Lucas Giolito, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, James McCann and Jimenez have shown why the White Sox future is so blindingly bright. Cease's arrival, which should be met with the same levels of excitement White Sox fans showed during Kopech's debut last year, will be yet another step toward contention.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.