After winning his fifth career Gold Glove award Sunday, Chicago White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel met with the media on Monday. The veteran left-hander wasn’t satisfied with his performance down the stretch of the 2021 season and wants to prove doubters wrong moving forward.
Keuchel said his struggles this season were not characteristic of his game and he looks forward to getting back to work in 2022. Compared to his performance in prior seasons, he’s right. The southpaw’s 2021 figures were the worst of his 10-year career.
In 32 appearances (30 starts), Keuchel pitched 162 innings with a 9-9 record, 5.28 ERA, 5.23 FIP, and 5.3 K/9 rate. He also walked 3.3 batters per game, which was his second-highest figure since his rookie year. Simply put, he wasn’t effective.
It was so bad for Keuchel in 2021 that he did not make the White Sox playoff roster. This is the same guy who electric for the White Sox in 2020. He posted a sub-2 ERA and finished fifth in Cy Young voting. Yes, it was a small sample size due to the pandemic-shortened season, but he was still as crisp as ever.
Keuchel seems to possess the hunger to get back on the mound and redeem himself from a bad year. However, he needs to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t the second half during which he struggled. It was the entire year.
If the White Sox decide to retain Keuchel by not trading or DFA’ing him this offseason, he will likely get the opportunity he so desires to prove he still has effective innings left in the tank.
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