The Astros will be without the services of the American League’s win and ERA leader for at least one start.
A 29-13 start to the 2017 season has been made possible for the Astros in part to Dallas Keuchel‘s superb pitching. Over the course of 63.2 innings over nine starts, Keuchel has posted an 1.84 ERA/3.27 FIP with a .215 BABIP and 67.1% GB%. And he has yet to record a loss on the season, whatever that is worth to you.
Not only has Keuchel bounced back from a rough 2016 season when he posted a 4.55 ERA/3.87 FIP, he has become an early front-runner for the AL Cy Young award once again. For example, he leads all starting pitchers in the majors in a couple of categories such as ERA and ground ball percentage.
Unfortunately, Houston may be without his services for at least the short-term.
As someone who has a pinched nerve in his neck in the past, I sympathize with Keuchel as much as a non-athlete possibly could. It is simply not a fun ordeal. Imagine not being able to adjust your neck in a comfortable manner for multiple days. But I do have a word of advice of whoever is in charge of the Astros bedding recommendations: Someone get this man the best pillow in existence!
All joking aside though, this is likely not an issue going forward.
This is likely a precautionary move for the Astros since they are 29-13 and they can get by without their best starting pitcher for one start in late May.
In turn, the Astros have tabbed Brad Peacock as the starting pitcher for this upcoming Monday, which was Keuchel’s scheduled turn in the rotation.
Peacock has thrown 16.1 innings in his first season as a full-time reliever and the former starter has pitched well in the role. Over the course of 12 appearances, he has posted an 1.10 ERA/2.36 FIP. So, yeah, the relief role has fit Peacock well in this brief sample size.
This will be Peacock’s first start since last season when he helped fill in for an injured Lance McCullers, and ironically, Keuchel again. In fairness to Peacock, he did post a 3.65 ERA in those five starts last September. But he did have a 4.85 FIP in those same starts so take that with a grain of salt.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**