At least according to FIP (3.87 in 2016, 3.79 in 2017), Dallas Keuchel wasn't a dramatically different pitcher last season, but he noticed far better results than the year prior. For the third time in four seasons, Keuchel finished with a sub-3.00 ERA while adding to his value with a 1.12 WHIP and 14 wins. The impact of those numbers was somewhat dampened by Keuchel missing most of June and July while recovering from a neck issue, and after a brilliant first half, he was far less productive after the break, managing only a 4.24 ERA and 1.39 WHIP across 70 frames. With a fastball that tops out in the high 80s, Keuchel will never be the strikeout-per-inning pitcher that typifies most aces, but his ability to generate ample groundballs and avoid damage via the long ball are skills that have routinely helped him outperform his peripherals. Moreover, with a power-packed offense backing him again, Keuchel's path to wins will be more favorable than most other starters of his caliber.
Keuchel (foot) agreed to a one-year, $13.2 million deal with the Astros on Friday to avoid arbitration, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. This was the final offseason as an arbitration-eligible player for Keuchel, who will become a free agent after the 2018 season. He is currently recoving from a mild left foot sprain but he's been able to resume throwing and is expected to be ready for the start of spring training. In 2017, the left-hander posted a 2.90 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with a 125:47 K:BB over 23 starts.
Keuchel (foot) was able to begin throwing after shedding his walking boot last week and expects to pitch off the mound in early February, Jake Kaplan of The Houston Chronicle reports. Keuchel suffered a mild left foot sprain during the team's World Series parade in early November, but remains on track to be fully healed and recovered prior to spring training. The Astros stated that the walking boot was simply a precaution, and it's obviously a positive sign that he's been able to resume his throwing progression. At this point, there should be no concerns over his availability for the 2018 campaign.
Keuchel is currently sporting a walking boot as he recovers from a mild left foot sprain, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports. Keuchel apparently suffered the injury during the Astros' World Series parade in early November, but the diagnosis of a "mild" sprain suggests it's nothing overly serious. Additionally, the Astros are saying that the walking boot is simply precautionary and that Keuchel is expected to be ready for spring training, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports.
Keuchel will take the mound for Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers on Sunday, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports. As expected, manager A.J. Hinch will lean upon the southpaw to deliver during Houston's final home game of the 2017 season following his Game 1 start Tuesday. This places Keuchel on normal rest, and he will likely go up against Clayton Kershaw once again, although Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts has yet to announce his rotation for Game 4 or Game 5 at this point. If the series goes to a Game 6, Justin Verlander is set to follow Keuchel after his outstanding performance in Game 2 on Wednesday. In the scenario that this series goes the distance, Keuchel will be available out of the bullpen for the finale.
Keuchel will start in Game 1 of the Astros' World Series matchup with the Dodgers on Tuesday, Matt Kelly of MLB.com reports. The 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner has been stellar throughout the playoffs and owns a 2.59 ERA over his five career postseason starts, so it was a no-brainer for Astros manager A.J. Hinch to turn to their ace for Game 1. Keuchel will oppose Clayton Kershaw in the contest, with Justin Verlander following the lefty in the rotation start Game 2.