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May 22, 2014

Skewed Left

Dallas Keuchel Defies his Destiny

by Zachary Levine


As much as it might look like we have, we’ve never seen anything like this in the short career of the Astros’ best pitcher to date, Dallas Keuchel.

His career began in June 2012 with terrific results—one run allowed in five innings in the Ballpark at Arlington, a complete game six days later with one run allowed. At the All-Star break he had a 2.45 ERA on his way into a start against Arizona. Something wasn’t right, though.

His manager called it “walking on a high wire” in an article that took the tone of a writer who wasn’t quite sure Keuchel would ever make it. The high-wire act was a ratio of 13 walks to 10 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings that, coupled with an 88 mph fastball, could lead you to believe that as soon as the luck ran out, the major league service time might run out too.

He got lit up that day in Arizona and finished that season badly, with a 6.49 ERA the rest of the way that was much more in line with the peripherals he was offering up. Had he not been on a team that was basically punting a half a decade, that might have been where the story ended.

That’s usually about where it ends for guys like him, anyway. He finished that rookie season with 39 walks and 38 strikeouts in his 85 1/3 innings, making him the 14th 25-and-under player in the 14 seasons since 2000 to walk more than he struck out.

A brief look at the names will tell you that their careers don’t usually amount to much.

Age 25 and under with more BB than K (min. 81 innings)

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Related Content:  Houston Astros,  Dallas Keuchel

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