Dallas Keuchel to Make Braves Debut vs. Nationals After Signing as Free Agent

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

CORRECTS CITY TO PEARL, INSTEAD OF JACKSON - Mississippi Braves pitcher Dallas Keuchel pitches during the first inning against the Double-A Mobile BayBears in Pearl, Miss., Saturday, June 15, 2019. Keuchel, who was recently signed by the Atlanta Braves, and is a 2015 AL Cy Young award winner has a one-year contract for the remainder of the 2019 season. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

Dallas Keuchel will make his 2019 MLB debut against the Washington Nationals on Friday after being recalled by the Atlanta Braves.

The 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year, $13 million contract with Atlanta on June 7.

Keuchel made a pair of tuneup starts in the minors this month, allowing three runs on 12 hits in 14 innings between Single-A and Double-A.

After being tendered a qualifying offer by the Houston Astros following the 2018 season, he opted to wait until after the June 2 deadline to sign. Any team that signed him prior to that date would have had to surrender a draft pick.

Keuchel is 76-63 with a 3.66 ERA in seven seasons and has posted double-digit victories in four of the past five seasons. He is 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 postseason appearances and was a member of the Astros' 2017 World Series championship squad.

The 31-year-old is coming off a season in which he went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.314 WHIP in 34 starts, striking out 153 batters in 204.2 innings. He made a pair of postseason starts, tossing five innings of four-hit, two-run baseball in each outing.

Although Keuchel had spent his entire career in Houston prior to signing with Atlanta, the southpaw has some experience pitching in the National League. His 2012 rookie year came during the Astros' final season in the NL.

Keuchel joins a Braves club that is 44-31 on the season, with a 4.5-game lead in the NL East. While the Atlanta offense has scored the seventh-most runs, the team's rotation ranks 16th in all of baseball with a 4.39 ERA. Mike Soroka (8-1, 2.12 ERA) and Julio Teheran (5-5, 3.40 ERA) are the only starters (minimum 10 starts) in the rotation with a sub-4.00 ERA this season.

Adding Keuchel should provide a boost to the rotation as the Braves look to reach the postseason for the second consecutive season.