Astros: Dallas Keuchel makes spring debut and Opening Day news

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Dallas Keuchel /

A key fixture in the Astros’ rotation didn’t exactly have a stellar or terrible day under the Florida sun. It was alright.

Dallas Keuchel somewhat struggled in his 2018 spring debut. In other news, spring training stats rarely matter.

I could end my post after those two sentences. Keuchel’s start, on the surface, means little. If you know an individual that makes a big fuss out of this one Grapefruit League start, well, they don’t truly pay attention to baseball.

Alas, it’s time to circle back to Keuchel. I should actually break down his start. There could be something there. Or not.

The Astros’ bearded southpaw allowed only two runs in 1.2 innings of work. However, his pitch count was rather high in the first inning following a strikeout of former Houston outfielder, Cameron Maybin.

Keuchel didn’t surrender any runs in the first inning, so maybe he could hold it down to pitch through the second with little issues. Well, that didn’t happen.

At the end of his spring debut, Keuchel threw 45 pitches with mixed results. He allows four hits in total with a walk, which translated into two earned runs by the Marlins. On the plus side, Keuchel did strike out three batters.

Overall, it wasn’t a start to place much stock in going forward. It was just nice to see Keuchel on the mound again. The biggest news was actually the announcement of Justin Verlander being named the Opening Day starter for the Astros.

Say what?!

Obviously this means Keuchel will be the starter on the second game of the season in Arlington. Credit to Keuchel for his response.

The news of Verlander being named the Opening Day starter isn’t earth shattering. And credit to Verlander for his response.

Next: Astros: Will anyone accept the qualifying offer next year?

The Astros have a talented rotation, which is why any decision is not all that controversial. Regardless, the Astros are in good shape heading towards to Opening Day. Once Keuchel completely shakes off the rust, the rotation will be one step closer to full strength.

**Statistics and information courtesy of**