The White Sox are sending Dylan Cease to the mound Sunday in a must-win Game 3 against the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa held the announcement of his Game 3 starter until Saturday, after weighing the choice between Cease, an electric young talent who has taken strides in his development this season, and Rodón, an All-Star coming off a career year who is battling shoulder soreness and fatigue.
“I’ll throw him out any night,” veteran catcher Yasmani Grandal said recently. “I trust his ability to pitch and get people out any night. So yeah, this postseason he’s going to be one of the arms we need to step up and make a deep run.
“I feel like he has the ability to do it. I know that’s putting a lot of pressure on a young guy but I believe he has the ability to be a number one here. Or anywhere else. I’m going to hold him to high expectations and hopefully at some point he meets them.”
Cease posted a career-best 3.91 ERA this season, logging 226 strikeouts. Though he’d still have a short outing here and there, the 25-year-old right-hander smoothed out some of the inconsistency that marked his first couple seasons in the big-leagues.
Cease finished the regular season strong, allowing one run in his final three starts combined.
“He’s the right choice for tomorrow, and I’m fired up to watch him,” La Russa said. “We all are.”