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Dallas Keuchel Hits The DL Again

Dallas Keuchel John Glaser via


Dallas Keuchel Hits The DL Again

Amidst a fantastic bounce-back year, Houston Astros ace Dallas Keuchel finds himself on the 10-day DL yet again.

Being scratched 10 minutes before his scheduled start yesterday against the Kansas City Royals, Keuchel was scratched due to illness.

Today, the Astros placed Keuchel on the DL for the second time in the past month. The Beard was placed on the 10-day DL May 20 with a pinched nerve in his neck. He then returned May 26 and made two starts since. But he finds himself back on the DL again due to a pinched nerve in his neck.

Keuchel is currently the MLB’s top winner (9) and lowest ERA (1.67).

What caused it?

It is currently unknown if the illness manager A.J. Hinch described is related to his neck problems. As of now, Keuchel’s illness and pinched neck have no relation.

“He didn’t feel great coming in,” Hinch said. “As he started his throwing program in the bullpen, a couple of things happened. One, he didn’t feel great. Two, he didn’t look great to the coaches, so we scratched him. We found out as guys were finishing up their warmups.”

A number of things could have caused Keuchel to have this discomfort in his neck, but this is not the first time he’s experienced it. This could be repercussions from his shoulder surgery last season. But maybe not. All we know is that this is the same discomfort put him on the DL in May.

Filling Keuchel’s shoes

In response to losing their ace, the Astros have called up top prospect Francis Martes from Triple-A Fresno. In 32.1 innings, Martes held a 5.29 ERA and struck out 38 before called up earlier today.

Although those numbers don’t really seem so overwhelming, Martes is ready for the show. He has a fastball that ranges from 93-98 mph with a lot of movement in the strike zone. He also has a second above-average pitch: his curveball. And with an improving changeup and slider, the big-league experience will prove to be valuable for Martes.

Lance McCullers Jr. has also pulled his own. With a 2.71 ERA in 69.2 innings is impressive. He’s proving to be good at the top of the rotation.

The timetable for a return

As of now Keuchel is only expected to miss, at the most, two starts, and hopefully no more than three. Though with this recurring injury, especially because it’s in his neck, the last thing the organization needs is to end up having to move their ace to the 60-day DL.

Though, like mentioned before, McCullers should fit right in at the top of the rotation. Plus the experience Martes will gain should help down the road.

As long as the offense keeps hot and the bullpen immovable, missing Dallas Keuchel for at the most three starts shouldn’t make too much of a dent in the massive lead the Astros currently hold in the AL West.