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Dylan Cease Tweaks His Curveball Grip

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The White Sox got a great player from the rival Cubs in the trade that sent Jose Quintana to the North Side in July 2017.

Outfielder Eloy Jimenez could be the club's best hitter from the day he arrives early in 2019, but the White Sox are also thrilled with another player they received in the deal.

"The Quintana trade doesn't happen without Dylan Cease being part of it," general manager Rick Hahn said. "He was a very important part of that for us."

A 22-year-old righthander, Cease was one of the most productive pitching prospects in the minors this season. He went 12-2, 2.40 in a combined 23 starts at high Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, striking out 160 and walking 50 in 124 innings.

Staying healthy has been the biggest key. In 2017, Cease missed the final month of the season with a shoulder strain, and he had Tommy John surgery as a high school senior.

"I think it's just the weight room, continuing to do my throwing program and making sure I get enough recovery and sleep and eat good," Cease said.

Not wanting to take any chances with Cease's health, the White Sox cut his season a little short after he made an Aug. 22 start against Jacksonville.

"We felt he had accomplished everything we wanted him to accomplish this year, so we decided to shut him down for those last couple,” Hahn said. "He should enter next spring training feeling very good about what he accomplished and in a very good position to help us in the future."

With a fastball that regularly reaches the upper 90s, a plus curveball and improving changeup, Cease has an arsenal that could help the White Sox at some point in 2019.

"I think it's just executing pitches better, to be honest,” Cease said. "I changed my curveball to more of a spiked curve and it seems to have improved. I feel if I was up (in the majors) right now, I could compete. I could definitely compete, but I'm not that worried about it right now."

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CHI-LITES

>> The White Sox did not call up top prospect Eloy Jimenez to the expanded September roster, but Hahn said it had nothing to do with delaying service time. "We don’t feel it makes sense for Eloy, at age 21, to make an appearance at a third level this season,” the GM said. "From a player development standpoint, we view him as continuing to improve.”

>> Limited to 50 games this season after twice being sidelined with a thumb injury, outfielder Luis Robert is heading to the Arizona Fall League for more at-bats.

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