Braves expect Keuchel to make first start Friday

Field Level Media

June 18, 2019 at 2:55 am.

The Atlanta Braves haven’t officially named their starter for Friday night’s game in Washington, but no less a source than manager Brian Snitker is expecting it be the recently signed former Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel.

“Hoping it’s going to be Friday. We’re going to kind of take it a day at a time right now, but everything is pointed in that direction,” Snitker told reporters on Monday, before the Braves’ 12-3 home victory against the New York Mets.

The Braves, who have won 10 of their last 11 games to take a 3-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League’s East Division, signed Keuchel to a one-year contract worth $13 million on June 7.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was enthused about Keuchel’s apparent arrival.

“It’s going to be big,” Freeman told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Former Cy Young Award winner — when you can add that in the middle of your season, it’s pretty remarkable. We’ve got the great defense for him, so I think he’s going to fit in perfectly with our team.”

Keuchel made two minor league starts, one in Single-A and the other in Double-A, throwing a combined 183 pitches over 14 innings.
Keuchel compiled a 76-63 record in seven seasons with the Houston Astros, including winning the 2015 AL Cy Young Award, when he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA.

Keuchel rejected a one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer last fall from the Astros and had been seeking a multi-year deal. Because he turned down the qualifying offer, a team that had signed him before early June would have forfeited a draft pick.