CHICAGO – As he approaches his first All-Star break as a member of the White Sox’s starting rotation, Dyan Cease is going to do everything he can to keep the rust off.
“I threw one [bullpen session] yesterday, and I’m going to throw another bullpen Wednesday,” Cease said Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field. “I think the plan is to go Game 5 after [the break], so prepare for that.”
The Sox haven’t announced their rotation order for the second half of the season. If Cease is pitching the fifth game, that would be July 16 at Kansas City.
The 23-year-old rookie right-hander debuted with the Sox on Wednesday, so he is facing an extended stretch of inactivity.
“I’m not really categorizing it as good or bad,” Cease said. “I’m going to do everything I can do to prepare for the next start. If you make things good or bad, it kind of gets in your mind. I’m just going to keep preparing.”
Cease also is going to keep meditating, which he started doing in the offseason.
“I just enjoy doing it,” Cease said. “It’s just one of those things where anything you can do that might help, I’m willing to try. At the end of the day, I don’t know if I can quantify what it does for me. But I enjoy doing it, so I’m going to at least tell myself it’s helping.”
Cease said he meditates every day.
“For me, it’s one of those things where there’s a structure,” he said. “It’s a stability through my day, so no matter what I’m going to do that during the day. You feel that accomplishment, but at the same time I feel like it’s helping me, so it’s kind of a double whammy.”
Helping hand: Charlie Tilson tipped off Daniel Palka Sunday morning in the Sox’s clubhouse.
“The Big Hurt’s in the batting cage.”
Frank Thomas is the best hitter in Sox history, and Palka idolizes the Hall of Famer.
The slumping Palka quickly headed to the indoor cage after Tilson gave him the heads up.
Thomas is a big fan of Palka’s, as well. He offered encouragement and a batting tip.
“He’s just trying to do too much, but everybody saw what he can do last year,” Thomas said. “The kid is a great hitter. I just told him to move his hands up a little bit, get the bat up. He’s been holding it too low. Eloy [Jiménez] can do that, but not too many other guys can. If [Palka] gets his bat up, he won’t be uppercutting so much.”
In two stints with the Sox after being demoted to Triple-A Charlotte, Palka is 1 for 45 on the season. Last year, he tied for the lead among American League rookies with 27 home runs and ranked third with 67 RBIs.
After Sunday’s 3-1 victory over the Cubs, Palka was optioned back to Charlotte. The Sox will make a corresponding roster move before opening the second half of the season Friday night at Oakland.
“He’s got to continue to work,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He was starting to make some strides when he went down. We were hoping it would continue here. We can see there is still some work to do to kind of get back on track. I’m sure he’s going to do everything he can to do that.”
Fight night: Plenty of fights were posted to social media during Saturday night’s Sox-Cubs game at Guaranteed Rate Field.
From the Sox’s dugout, Cease enjoyed all the chaos coming from the capacity crowd during his first crosstown experience.
“It was crazy,” Cease said. “I always heard there was some sort of fight at some point. To see fights and how crazy everyone was getting over everything, it was pretty cool.”