Cease is predominantly a power pitcher, with a fastball that has averaged 95.6 mph this season (faster than 77% of MLB pitchers). The four-seamer is his primary pitch, throwing it 42.7% of the time, followed by his slider (thrown 38.9% of the time) and a curveball (15.3% of pitches). But Cease will also occasionally mix in a changeup—and he tried something new with it on Sunday.
In his start against Minnesota, Cease threw that changeup extra slow. In the third inning, he threw one at a cool 69 mph to Jorge Polanco on an 0–2 count. Despite the pitch being right down the middle, Polanco was completely frozen.
Dylan Cease, Very Nice 69mph Changeup. 👍 pic.twitter.com/iVQZr8Oztz— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 17, 2023
What do Polanco, Wallner and Julien all have in common? They’re all left-handed batters. (Polanco is a switch hitter who batted left against the righty Cease.) Cease has thrown just 97 changeups this season, all but two of them to lefties.
The pitch to Wallner, which was clocked at 67.4 mph, was the slowest pitch of Cease’s career. In fact, Cease has only thrown five pitches in his career slower than 70 mph. Three of them were on Sunday. The White Sox’ season is over, so why not experiment with something new?