The Chicago White Sox ran a five-man rotation for most of this season. That included Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, and Dallas Keuchel. Michael Kopech, Jimmy Lambert, and Reynaldo Lopez each made spot starts from time to time as well. Lopez even made it a six-man rotation towards the end of the season as they started resting guys for the playoffs.
All of the main starters have been great except for Dallas Keuchel. Cease, Lynn, Rodon, and Giolito have all been the team’s best starter at different points of the season and overall awesome all year long. They are the clear four-man rotation going into the playoffs, as long as Rodon is healthy enough to go.
That leaves Dallas Keuchel out. He finished 2021 with a 9-9 record, with a 5.28 ERA, 1.531 WHIP, and 95 strikeouts. Those aren’t good stats, especially on a team with such great pitching all over the place. He is the only starter that didn’t reach 100 strikeouts (the other four all either reached 200 or were on pace to do so). Even Liam Hendriks and Michael managed to reach the 100 strikeouts plateau as relievers.
At this point, the question is whether or not he will be used as a reliever himself or miss the roster entirely. You would be able to easily understand either decision. The only thing that can’t happen is Dallas Keuchel as a starter in the postseason.
To try and see where he is in a relief role, the White Sox had him come out of the bullpen on Saturday night. The White Sox won the game in dramatic comeback fashion which was awesome but it wouldn’t have been needed if Keuchel wasn’t bad in his relief appearance.
He wasn’t even able to finish an entire inning as he went 0.2 while allowing three runs on four hits. He also had one walk and one strikeout. It was a terrible audition for him as a reliever. It is clear that using Michael Kopech, Aaron Bummer, Garrett Crochet, and Ryan Tepera are the best options in non-close relief opportunities.
If Dallas Keuchel makes the playoff roster, the Chicago White Sox needs him well.
Dallas is not a power pitcher. He wants his opponents to make weak contact and allow his defense to play well behind him. He is also a Gold Glove-caliber pitcher out there which is one of his positive traits. However, his command hasn’t been good enough to be a power pitcher. He has been unlucky at times but that style of pitching is very hard to do in today’s game.
Whether Keuchel makes the roster or not, we should always appreciate him for believing in the White Sox organization. Some really good players have followed his lead both on and off the field which is nice. Hopefully, regardless of the decision, the White Sox are able to keep this great pitching going forward.