Dallas Keuchel Seeks Season Turnaround in Texas Rangers Debut

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The former Cy Young winner has not had a good season in 2022, but he’s coming off solid work at Triple-A Round Rock.

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The former Cy Young winner has not had a good season in 2022, but he’s coming off solid work at Triple-A Round Rock.

When Dallas Keuchel takes the ball for the Texas Rangers for the first time on Saturday night, he’ll be out to prove that he still has something to offer to Major League teams past this season.

The former Cy Young winner, now 34, will start for the Rangers on Saturday night against Detroit. It will be his first Major League start since July 12 when he took the hill for the Arizona Diamondbacks against San Francisco.

The Rangers put Keuchel on their taxi squad on Friday and will purchase his contract on Saturday before his start. Texas beat the Tigers 7-6 Friday night. 

That outing six weeks ago was not kind. Keuchel went 2 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits and eight runs, while allowed one walk and striking out four. He took the loss. Shortly after that, the Diamondbacks released him.

It was the second time a Major League team released him in 2022. The Chicago White Sox released him in May.

Keuchel will pitch in Globe Life Field for the first time in his career. But he has plenty of experience against Detroit, with a 5-4 record and a 4.98 ERA in 15 games and 13 starts against the Tigers. He’s even faced the Tigers this year. With Arizona on June 6, he threw 4 1/3 innings, giving up six hits, four runs (earned) and three walks while striking out seven. He took a no-decision.

For 2022, Keuchel is 2-7 with an 8.53 ERA in 12 starts. Keuchel isn’t trying to turn around his season. He’s trying to extend his career, and he’ll do it by taking rookie Cole Ragans’ turn in the rotation — and after some quality starts with the Triple-A Round Rock Express.

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After signing with the Rangers last month, he was assigned to the Express, where he went 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts, while allowing a .163/.264/.250/.514 opponent slash. He walked 11 and struck out 22 and finished with a 1.029 WHIP. He also gave up just one home run.

Keuchel was supposed to start at Albuquerque on Saturday before his call-up to Arlington, so he’s pitching on more th

an five day’s rest. But he enters his first Rangers start after three straight quality starts and nine consecutive scoreless innings. His last start, against El Paso, featured four-hit shutout baseball over seven innings, with one walk and six strikeouts.

But does he still have it at the Major League level? That’s the question Keuchel has roughly a month or so to answer, assuming the Rangers stick with him beyond Saturday’s start.

With the White Sox in 2021, he went 9-9 with a 5.28 ERA, a precursor to his struggles this season. But before that, Keuchel hadn’t had an ERA of 5.00 or worse since his second season in 2013 with Houston. In between, he had one year with an ERA of four or worse, which was 2016 at 4.55.

His career record is 101-89. His Cy Young season was in 2015, when he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA. He’s a two-time All-Star. He’s a five-time Gold Glove fielder. He’s a world champion.

Now, the Rangers will see if their low-cost investment — a minor-league contract — will pay off.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

Catch up with Inside the Rangers on Facebook and Twitter.

The former Cy Young winner has not had a good season in 2022, but he’s coming off solid work at Triple-A Round Rock.

When Dallas Keuchel takes the ball for the Texas Rangers for the first time on Saturday night, he’ll be out to prove that he still has something to offer to Major League teams past this season.

The former Cy Young winner, now 34, will start for the Rangers on Saturday night against Detroit. It will be his first Major League start since July 12 when he took the hill for the Arizona Diamondbacks against San Francisco.

The Rangers put Keuchel on their taxi squad on Friday and will purchase his contract on Saturday before his start. Texas beat the Tigers 7-6 Friday night. 

That outing six weeks ago was not kind. Keuchel went 2 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits and eight runs, while allowed one walk and striking out four. He took the loss. Shortly after that, the Diamondbacks released him.

It was the second time a Major League team released him in 2022. The Chicago White Sox released him in May.

Keuchel will pitch in Globe Life Field for the first time in his career. But he has plenty of experience against Detroit, with a 5-4 record and a 4.98 ERA in 15 games and 13 starts against the Tigers. He’s even faced the Tigers this year. With Arizona on June 6, he threw 4 1/3 innings, giving up six hits, four runs (earned) and three walks while striking out seven. He took a no-decision.

For 2022, Keuchel is 2-7 with an 8.53 ERA in 12 starts. Keuchel isn’t trying to turn around his season. He’s trying to extend his career, and he’ll do it by taking rookie Cole Ragans’ turn in the rotation — and after some quality starts with the Triple-A Round Rock Express.

After signing with the Rangers last month, he was assigned to the Express, where he went 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts, while allowing a .163/.264/.250/.514 opponent slash. He walked 11 and struck out 22 and finished with a 1.029 WHIP. He also gave up just one home run.

Keuchel was supposed to start at Albuquerque on Saturday before his call-up to Arlington, so he’s pitching on more than five day’s rest. But he enters his first Rangers start after three straight quality starts and nine consecutive scoreless innings. His last start, against El Paso, featured four-hit shutout baseball over seven innings, with one walk and six strikeouts.

But does he still have it at the Major League level? That’s the question Keuchel has roughly a month or so to answer, assuming the Rangers stick with him beyond Saturday’s start.

With the White Sox in 2021, he went 9-9 with a 5.28 ERA, a precursor to his struggles this season. But before that, Keuchel hadn’t had an ERA of 5.00 or worse since his second season in 2013 with Houston. In between, he had one year with an ERA of four or worse, which was 2016 at 4.55.

His career record is 101-89. His Cy Young season was in 2015, when he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA. He’s a two-time All-Star. He’s a five-time Gold Glove fielder. He’s a world champion.

Now, the Rangers will see if their low-cost investment — a minor-league contract — will pay off.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

Catch up with Inside the Rangers on Facebook and Twitter.

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