Dallas Keuchel has been hot dumpster juice all season long. His record stands at a paltry 3-8, with an equally disappointing 4.45 ERA. This comes on the heels of a four and one third inning outing against the baseball team in North Texas (I refuse to acknowledge them by their name after what they did during Harvey). He gave up 13 hits, six runs (five of those earned), and only three strikeouts.
Perhaps the worst part of his outing was his comments post game. He mentioned that “11 of those hits should have been outs.” Is it just me, or does that sound like he’s making excuses? Or is he perhaps throwing shade at his teammates? Either way, it’s not a good look for a guy who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2015 and who’s heading to free agency this offseason.
About two months ago, I did a Hot Take video for the site saying the Astros should trade Keuchel at the deadline this year. My premise was that he’s 30 years old, heading into free agency, and the team doesn’t appear eager to resign him to the type of deal he would want. They also have a true ace in Justin Verlander, traded for Gerrit Cole, and have a few young live arms (looking at you Lance McCullers) to help carry the pitching staff moving forward. Why not move him and get something for him, instead of watching him leave and get nothing in return except a compensatory draft pick? Makes sense right?
However, I was met with all kinds of rebuttals and responses as to why I’m crazy, why that’s a bad idea, and why this wouldn’t work. “HEY KOBE, TELL ME HOW MY ASS TASTE!” Now who’s crazy? Whose idea is bad now? Whose trade won’t work? Still think they need to keep him?
This is one of those things in which I cannot stand being right. The rest of the pitching staff has been unbelievably good. Justin Verlander, Cole, and Charlie Morton are all in the A.L. top ten in ERA. At one point not too long ago, they were the top three. McCullers has been pretty good as well, minus a couple bad starts. These guys have held it down for the team, while Keuchel has dragged the pitching staff’s numbers down.
Now that he’s dramatically reduced his value, it is truly time for the Astros to trade him. The team needs to get whatever scraps they can get for him because they for sure aren’t going to resign him now. He was a soft-tossing lefty who relied on placing the ball wherever he needed to in order to get outs. Now, he’s been reduced to an even softer tossing lefty that can’t locate his pitches to save his life. He’s got to go!
General Manager Jeff Luhnow has done a fantastic job restocking the team’s minor league system. They still have a lot of good prospects left after the Verlander and Cole trades. It’s still early enough in the season to call up one of those youngsters and get him some action on the big league level. Maybe not in the starting rotation, so how about the bullpen? Colin Mchugh and/or Brad Peacock can start and give them better than what Keuchel is giving them now. Or why not allow a young arm to come up and start? I’m pretty sure Forrest Whitley or J.B. Bukauskas can give you what Keuchel is giving you while gaining valuable reps at the major league level.
Some may argue that Keuchel is “owed” his position. Whether it’s due to his tenure with the organization, or his past successes, people will feel nostalgic about him. While he has been through the down times and led the resurgence, it’s time to part ways. The organization has positioned itself to compete for the next few years. Whether it’s through a trade or refusal to meet his contract demands, the Astros and Keuchel are headed for an end. Why not put the dog down rather than have it lingering in pain? Be humane Astros. Put the dog down.