Keuchel is expected to start Friday against the Nationals, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. The Braves haven't made their plans official, but the expectation is that the lefty will be ready for his season debut. He's made a pair of seven-inning rehab starts, showing very little rust while allowing three runs on 12 hits and recording a 13:2 K:BB.
Keuchel allowed three earned runs on 11 hits across seven innings in a tune-up start Saturday at Double-A Mississippi. Keuchel did allow a high number of baserunners, but that gave him the opportunity to extend his pitch count to 106 (74 strikes). Most of that damage was done in the first inning, when the veteran lefty gave up two runs on three hits, which all started with a leadoff double. It was a much tougher test than his first outing in Low-A, where he tossed seven innings of one-hit ball. With more situational experience under his belt, Keuchel now believes he could start for the Braves in the upcoming week if called upon, according to the Jackson Clarion Ledger. The report indicated Keuchel used all five of his pitches, with his velocity landing in the 86-89 MPH range. After the start, the former Cy Young winner noted "I'm not trying to rush myself. Probably tomorrow will be a better judgment of where we're going to be at in the next four or five days." Based on those words, it might be a bit risky to put Keuchel in lineups for the upcoming week, though getting a start isn't necessarily outside the realm of possibility.
Keuchel will make his next start for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday, 680 The Fan Atlanta reports. Keuchel looked razor sharp in his first minor-league start Monday, firing seven scoreless frames while fanning nine with Low-A Rome. The Braves have reported that Keuchel should only need two starts in the minors, which would put him on track to make his Atlanta debut June 21 against the Nationals.
Keuchel allowed a hit and a walk over seven scoreless innings while striking out nine in his first rehab start with Low-A Rome on Monday. Predictably, the former Cy Young Award winner was too much for Sally League hitters, despite his long layoff from facing live competition. Keuchel, who threw 77 pitches Monday, will likely make his next start for Triple-A Gwinnett over the weekend. If all goes well in that outing, his subsequent turn could come next week as a member of the Atlanta rotation.
Keuchel is tentatively scheduled to start for Low-A Rome on Monday after Triple-A Gwinnett's game was rained out Saturday, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Keuchel was scheduled to make his organizational debut with the Stripers on Saturday, but Mother Nature forced a change of plan. The 32-year-old was scheduled to make two starts in the minors before joining the Braves, and the rainout is unlikely to significantly impact those plans.
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