Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel could fit well into the Colorado Rockies rotation
The aforementioned Aaron Bummer is #1 among relievers in groundball percentage since 2019 but the Chicago White Sox have both the reliever and starter with the highest groundball rates. The starter is Dallas Keuchel.
Keuchel, who turns 34 in a few weeks, is a native of Oklahoma (and the Rockies are known to love their Oklahomans). He had a rough 2021 season as he had a 5.28 ERA in 32 games (30 starts). His FIP wasn’t much better (5.23) and he had a high WHIP of 1.531 so the White Sox would be selling low on him.
However, the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner had a phenomenal 2020 season. He made 11 starts and had an ERA of 1.99. He had a FIP of 3.08 with a WHIP of 1.089, and he only gave up two homers. In the three previous seasons, his ERA+ was 141, 111, and 122.
Keuchel’s 56.4 percent groundball rate since 2019 is the highest among all starters with at least 300 innings pitched. In that same span, Antonio Senzatela, Germán Márquez, and Jon Gray have all been in the top 20 in groundball percentage and all three pitched better at Coors Field than on the road.
Keuchel is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract as he is owed $18 million in 2021 but if he pitches 160 innings or more in 2022, his $20 million option for 2023 vests. The Rockies would want some salary relief for him but he could slot in nicely in the Rockies rotation.
Next up on our list is the Cleveland Guardians as we continue through the American League Central.