GLENDALE, Ariz. – For the first time since 2019, the White Sox will have a new starter for Opening Day, but it’s hardly a surprise to anyone who has followed the club the last year.

On Friday, manager Pedro Grifol officially named Dylan Cease their starting pitcher for their first game of the 2023 season against the Houston Astros on Thursday, March 30 at Minute Maid Park.

He’s coming off his best season in Major League Baseball in 2022 as he established himself as a front-of-the-rotation starter and was an American League Cy Young Award finalist.

Cease will become the 63rd pitcher in White Sox history to get the start on Opening Day and does so after fellow pitcher Lucas Giolito had started the last three openers. Mark Buehrle holds the club record for most starts in the first game of the season with nine.

In 2022, his fourth season at the MLB level with the White Sox, Cease was one of the best starters in the game as he went 14-8 with a 2.20 ERA with 227 strikeouts compared to 78 walks in 184 innings.

He was one of the few consistent players in an inconsistent season where the club slipped to 81-81 and out of the playoffs.

Acquired from the Cubs in 2017 in the trade that brought himself and Eloy Jimenez to the south side, Cease is 36-26 in 90 career starts for the White Sox with a 3.56 ERA. After struggling with consistency his first two seasons, the starters has found his rhythm in his last two years, going 13-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 2021 with 226 strikeouts compared to 68 walks before a breakout 2022 season.

Now he’ll have the chance to start things out quickly in 2023 on March 30.