Dylan Cease has been lights-out since his promotion to Double-A Birmingham in June, but the lights officially went out on his season Friday.
MLB.com's No. 44 overall prospect will be shut down for the remainder of the campaign after throwing a career-high 124 innings. There are no injury concerns surrounding Cease, but the White Sox said they want to limit his workload after the right-hander eclipsed his previous career high by more than 30 innings.
The decision comes one day after Cease struck out 11 batters and threw five innings of two-hit ball in the resumption of a suspended game against Jacksonville. It was the fifth time in his last six outings in which he did not allow an earned run.
The 22-year-old right-hander went 9-2 with a 2.89 ERA and 82 strikeouts over 71 2/3 innings in 13 starts with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem before his promotion to the Barons. After a rough Southern League debut on June 23, he went on a dominant run.
Over his last nine starts, Cease was 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. He kept the scoreboard clean in five of those outings and allowed multiple runs just once, on July 20 against Jackson.
The breakout season came after he won one game in 22 starts last year for Class A South Bend and Class A Kannapolis, despite posting a 3.28 ERA. The 2014 sixth-round pick was acquired from the Cubs two weeks ahead of last season's Trade Deadline as part of the return package for left-hander Jose Quintana.