Facing a lineup that looked fairly similar to the one the A's likely will use come Opening Day, Cease allowed just one hit and struck out four in his first Cactus League start.
"I just wanted to be relaxed. Relaxed with my body and attack and not over think it," the 22-year-old said. "I felt very relaxed out there. Felt like I could have kept going, which is always a good sign."
Cease rates as the White Sox's No. 5 prospect by MLB Pipeline and No. 10 according to Baseball America. He's shown the ability to reach 100 mph with his fastball and compiled 126 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings last season between the High-A South Atlantic and Midwest leagues.
"We want to see him perform in an 'A' game," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said before the team left its Camelback Ranch complex Monday morning. "That's the biggest component: We want to see him in a big league game."
Cease worked around a single and error to strike out the side in the first. He got Dustin Fowler swinging to start the inning, then with a runner on third, got Khris Davis swinging and Matt Olson looking.
He walked two and threw a wild pitch in the second, but got Fowler on a groundout to strand another runner at third.
"He's a very composed young man," Renteria said. "He is an individual who knows what he's capable of, I believe. It's just a matter of it all coming together."
"No matter the situation, I can bear down and get the job done," Cease said, noting the confidence boost from such an outing. "It definitely helps. If anything, it gives me more motivation to go back and do the little things and continue that process of getting ready for the next one."
Cease used all four of his pitches: fastball, curveball, slider and changeup, but it's the changeup that still is a work in progress and a point of emphasis this spring.