CHICAGO -- Lucas Giolito described his initial feeling as "bittersweet" upon hearing the White Sox were capping his 2017 season at 174 innings between Triple-A Charlotte and the Majors, a jump from 136 2/3 innings in '16.
He was looking forward to making that final start Friday night at Progressive Field.
"I wanted to take the ball against the Indians. I want to pitch against the best," a confident Giolito said Tuesday in the White Sox dugout. "But at the same time, I completely understand the process of everything. I'm pleased with where I'm at.
"Luckily, I was able to throw pretty deep into games over my starts here. So it's understandable that 174 is where they wanted to cap me."
The 2017 season became a positive reboot for Giolito, 23, who was acquired from the Nationals as part of the Adam Eaton deal. He not only overcame struggles featured at the end of his run in Washington but also tough times at the beginning of his 128 2/3 innings thrown for Charlotte.
Giolito posted a 2.38 ERA in seven starts and 45 1/3 innings for the White Sox, striking out 34 and walking 12. He's coming out of this season with a much better feeling than he had last year at this time.
"A lot more confident, knowing that I had good numbers and I was able to pitch well up here," Giolito said. "Put that in my back pocket going into next year and just come and attack hitters the same way and continue the development. There's still so much to work on and improve."
"There's nothing left to prove this year. There's nothing really to gain. I don't think his first trip to the big leagues with us could have gone any better," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "He's throwing strikes with four pitches. He's got angles, he can change speeds, he can ride the ball up in the zone. He's done everything. He's been great."
Throwing 200 innings becomes the 2018 target for Giolito, who will begin his throwing program in mid-December.
Shields shut down
Veteran right-hander James Shields ended his 2017 season on a high note with a quality start and victory over the Angels on Monday. Shields will have PRP (platelet-rich plasma) shots in both knees to take care of tendinitis.
No starting pitcher has been announced by the White Sox for Friday's series opener at Cleveland.
Cease coming along
Dylan Cease, the No. 5 White Sox prospect and No. 58 overall per MLBPipeline.com, was shut down before the start of the Class A Kannapolis South Atlantic League playoffs due to shoulder fatigue. But he continues working during White Sox instructional league action at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.
"He's doing well," said White Sox director of player development Chris Getz of Cease, who is playing catch and working through physical therapy stuff. "Our goal at the end of the instructional league is for him to feel good about where his arm is going into the offseason.
"Have a normal productive offseason and be ready for Spring Training. There is nothing showing for us to be worried about."