Keller was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday. Keller has given up six earned runs in 4.2 innings over his last two starts and his season ERA sits at 7.04 with a similarly uninspiring 1.80 WHIP. Wil Crowe, who was recalled in a corresponding move, could be an option to take Keller's rotation spot.
Keller (3-7) was charged with the loss Thursday against the Dodgers after surrendering four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three across 2.2 innings. Command issues seemed to plague Keller this time around. After giving up a leadoff homer to Mookie Betts in the first, Keller ran in a troublesome three-run third inning which he was unable to finish. The right-hander, who had previously only hit three batters in his career, struck two alone in the third frame. The mess piled on as opposing starter Julio Urias hit a bases-loaded, two-run single after Keller went 3-0 on Austin Barnes and intentionally walked him. That would be it for Keller, who fell victim to his second abbreviated outing in a row. The 25-year-old had left his last start Friday due to a heat-related illness before landing on the COVID-19 injured list Sunday. Keller will look to bounce back during his next projected start Tuesday at Washington.
The Pirates reinstated Keller from the COVID-19-related injured list prior to Tuesday's game against the Dodgers, Jake Crouse of MLB.com reports. Keller was placed on the COVID-19-related injured list prior to Sunday's game against Miami. The right-hander left his Friday start with what was described as a heat-related illness, though it's still not clear whether that's at all related to his brief stint on the injured list. In any case, Keller is back with the Pirates and should remain in line to start Thursday against Los Angeles.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton said Keller (illness) will be placed on the COVID-19 injured list Sunday, Jake Crouse of MLB.com reports. Per Mike Persak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Shelton said he couldn't confirm whether Keller's move to the IL was related to the heat-related illness that caused the right-hander's removal from his start Friday against the Marlins. Regardless, the Pirates don't seem to be concerned about a lengthy stay on the IL for Keller; according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Keller is listed as the team's probable starter for Thursday's game against the Dodgers. The 25-year-old has been a decent source of strikeouts (9.7 K/9) over his 11 starts, but his 3-6 record, 6.65 ERA and 1.72 WHIP across 44.2 innings have limited his overall fantasy value.
Keller was removed from Friday's game against the Marlins with a heat illness, Jake Crouse of MLB.com reports. Keller only pitched two innings in Friday's start, and he allowed two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out two. He's being evaluated to determine the extent of the issue, but it's not yet clear whether the illness will impact his availability going forward.
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