Sunday, April 28, 2024

Cease Change


Dylan Cease really went from suiting up for a last place team to getting to play for a second place one. There's a lot of moves this offseason that feel like not enough thought went into him, but he really got out of Chicago at the exact right time.

I think what's helped Cease get off to a blazing start, with a 3-1 record, a 1.82 ERA and 35 Ks, has been the run support. Pretty much everybody in this lineup has 10+ RBIs. Even people like Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts, who are trying to get back to peak numbers, can still score runs. Cease is a great pitcher, but he really just needs the right circumstances to truly standout. Like, in the poorer White Sox years his numbers just didn't look the same. Last year he had a 4.58 ERA. Cease is going to show up, and he's going to deliver solid stuff, he's just very much at the mercy of the team, and even if the Padres haven't been perfect so far, he seems to fit right in there and has been relied upon a lot so far.

Now, granted...he's also being relied upon a lot because Joe Musgrave's struggling and Yu Darvish is hurt. Right now the Padres' rotation is made up of a lot of second choices, people like Michael King, Matt Waldron and Randy Vazquez. And while some of those guys are working out, especially Waldron, we're coming off a couple years of 'see all these stars pitch for the Padres'. Y'know, Blake Snell, Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo, all these great guys. And now we're going with a lower budget kind of deal, which works, it's still efficient. But now a lot's been put on Cease, and while he's still doing great, it's...honestly not dissimilar from where he came from. Musgrove could still pull it together, but after getting killed by the Phillies the other day I'm not sure how long that will take. 

'People just not really showing up' is still honestly a theme in San Diego. Machado is certainly trying, he's now up to .260, with 4 homers and 12 RBIs, but people are still a little worried. Bogaerts is hitting .219, that's a far cry from where he was even LAST April. Cronenworth just seems like he's lost a lot of his versatility that made him great a few seasons ago. There are people like Jackson Merrill and Jurickson Profar and, well, Tatis, who are succeeding, but it's not really a full team effort right now. This is a sort of 'back to basics' approach for them, this season, and it's worked to some degree but there's a lot, and arguably more than in previous years, that just isn't working.

The D-Backs are slumping enough to give the Padres padding at 2nd, but I don't know how long that will last, especially with the Phillies still very hot. 

Coming Tonight: A lot of Boston pitchers are getting hurt, and if this one does I have no idea what they're gonna do over there.

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