I’m slowly getting on board to the idea of the Cardinals signing Dallas Keuchel. And it’s not as much from wanting Keuchel as much as it is the rotation needs a boost. Hopefully that makes sense. Oh well.
The rotation has clearly had it’s issues this season and if the Cardinals are to make a move down the stretch towards the playoffs, they will need an arm like Keuchel to cement a playoff spot. The biggest issue with Keuchel is that even if he signs today, he will not be ready to take the field for the Cardinals for at least a few weeks. The Cardinals do have plenty of arms in their system that can do the job. But I’d argue that none of them would match what Keuchel could bring outside of Alex Reyes.
Dallas Keuchel gives you innings. There’s no way around that. When he is on the field he is a solid starter that will give you innings. Since 2015, he has averaged 6.46 innings per start. Compare that to our current rotation.
Miles Mikolas – 5.66
Jack Flaherty – 5.42
Dakota Hudson – 5.33
Adam Wainwright – 5.30
Michael Wacha – 5.18
That’s a pretty significant upgrade if you ask me. The bullpen has been a huge bright spot for the Cardinals, but if the rotation cannot sustain innings they will eventually get worn out. Keuchel can certainly help with that.
He’s also left-handed. Now, I don’t think it’s a huge deal, but having a lefty in the rotation does make a lot of sense. Getting the opposing team off balanced can certainly help your chances to win. He holds righties to a .703 OPS in his career while allowing just a .607 OPS to lefties.
My biggest issue is simple… It’s going to be a month at the earliest before we see him pitch. In that time if the rotation get’s it together (which is a big if), who would you take out of the rotation. As it looks right now, I don’t see Wacha regaining his spot anytime soon. That’s just the way it is at the moment. Wainwright might be pitching himself out of the rotation as well while Hudson, Flaherty and Mikolas seem to be fine. Alex Reyes is close to returning and could easily take one of the two open spots. I’ve mentioned in a previous piece that the Cardinals should take a chance on Madison Bumgarner, but if they are reluctant to give up prospects, Keuchel could fit the bill.
If this team is looking to win, Keuchel might be a solid option. He is reportedly open to signing a one year deal. At this point, at least make the phone call. See what he thinks of St. Louis and try to make something work. Fans are getting tired of a lackluster team. You need a spark whether it be from the offense or from the pitching staff. Keuchel changes things up.
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