Dallas Keuchel slated for assignment after Chicago White Sox pitcher’s ERA soars to 7.88

Dallas Keuchel slated for assignment after Chicago White Sox pitcher's ERA soars to 7.88
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At his best during his time with the Chicago White Sox, Dallas Keuchel pitched as a Cy Young Award nominee.

But the southpaw couldn’t find consistency through the latter part of last season and into 2022, and the Sox designated him for assignment on Saturday.

Keuchel was 2-5 and 7.88 ERA with 20 strikeouts in eight starts this season.

“Given the back of the baseball card, so to speak, we wanted to give him the opportunity this season to show he was capable of getting back on track,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “There wasn’t necessarily a magic number of starts that would have been needed before making that decision, and in fact, although we’ve been talking about it internally for some time, his starts against New York at home (May 14) and Boston at Fenway (May 8) were impressive enough to keep giving him the ball.

“Obviously the trend of the last two starts, especially (Thursday) night, was enough for us to say it was time to try something else in this location.

The left-hander, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2015 with the Houston Astros, was a major addition, agree to a three-year, $55.5 million contract on December 30, 2019. The contract included a team option for 2023.

Keuchel, 34, went 17-16 with a 4.79 ERA in 51 appearances (49 starts) for the Sox.

“He has a lot to be proud of,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “There hasn’t been a single time he’s pitched since I’ve been here he hasn’t competed, which is the ultimate measure. I understand that he feels like he could have done better, he should have done better. But I don’t think anyone in that uniform wouldn’t trade their career in the next 10 or 12 years for what they did.

“I think he’s healthier this year than he was last year. He has games left, throws left, if there’s a team interested in him.

He finished fifth in AL Cy Young voting in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, going 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 11 starts.

Keuchel was 9-9 with a 5.28 ERA in 32 outings (30 starts) last season. Keuchel, who won an AL Gold Glove Award in 2021, went 6-1 with a 3.78 ERA in his first 14 starts and 3-8 with a 6.70 ERA in his last 18 outings. It was placed on the taxi team for the American League Divisional Series against the Astros.

During spring training, Keuchel said the end of 2021 left a “sour tasteand he started pitching earlier in the offseason than usual to prepare for hope for a bounce-back season.

He won his 100th career victory April 13 vs. Seattle Mariners. He allowed 10 runs, seven earned, on 10 hits with one walk and more than an inning in his next outing on April 20 at Cleveland. He came out after facing 11 batters in the second. The Sox made four mistakes in the 11-1 loss in the first match of a doubleheader.

Keuchel has allowed at least six runs in three of his eight starts this season.

“We definitely got what we expected in 2020 and the first half or so in 21,” Hahn said. “He was basically what we expected when we signed him, and unfortunately the second half of his White Sox career didn’t go as we had hoped. With any free agent signing , there is some level of expectation, but there are also reasonable projections involved on our end, at least in terms of potential decline. the end than we expected.

Keuchel this month had strong outings in Boston (two runs in six innings on May 8) and against the New York Yankees (five shutout innings on May 14) before struggling against the Yankees on May 21 at Yankee Stadium (six runs in four innings) and Thursday against the Red Sox at guaranteed rate field (six runs in two innings).

“This club, for the first time in franchise history, made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in ’20 and ’21, and that most likely won’t happen without Dallas’ contributions in those two seasons,” Hahn said. “Obviously in 2020 he was in the top five for Cy Young. Last year, especially in the first half, he had some important wins for us. I remember (the ones) against Toronto and Tampa ( June 10 and 15) with us, so he certainly delivered in the first half of this contract what we were looking for.

“The streak this season, apart from some impressive performances against Boston and New York, as well as numerous departures in the second half of last year, showed he wasn’t quite up to speed. up to what we needed him to do this year. So we certainly wish him well in his next step. I just want to make sure his contributions aren’t lost here as people focus on his retirement. of the club.

In Saturday’s corresponding move, the Sox recalled infielder Danny Mendick from Triple-A Charlotte.

Separately, outfielder Eloy Jiménez began a rehab assignment on Saturday with Charlotte in Durham, NC Jiménez suffered an injury on April 23 that required surgery to repair a torn hamstring tendon behind his right knee.

He went 1-for-2 on Saturday but pulled out after a single to right field in the second inning with right leg pain. The Sox said it’s day to day.

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