Dallas Keuchel returns to the Major Leagues with Texas

The Rangers announced that Dallas Keuchel will return to the Major Leagues once again. Texas placed left-hander Cole Ragans on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 23, with a left calf strain. The Rangers already have an opening on the 40-man roster, so no additional transaction will be necessary to formally select Keuchel’s contract. It’s a return to the big leagues for the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, who will be on his third team of the 2022 season. Keuchel opened the year with the White Sox but was released in May after posting a 7.88 ERA in eight starts. The veteran lefty signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks and returned to the majors. However, he was tagged for 22 runs (20 earned) in 18 2/3 innings and Arizona let him go as well. Texas rolled the dice on Keuchel last month, signing him to a minor league deal. He spent the last few weeks at Triple-A Round Rock, going 23 1/3 innings in four starts (just under six innings per start) with a superb 2.31 ERA. Keuchel has walked a lofty 12.1% of batters faced there, but has induced ground balls at a whopping 64.9%. That’s more in line with the ground ball numbers he racked up in his heyday with the division rival Astros than the 50% rate (a solid but not elite mark) he posted with Chicago and Arizona this year. Keuchel adds a veteran option with a long history of professional success to the Texas rotation down the stretch. The Rangers will only pay him the prorated portion of the league minimum $700,000 for his time in the majors, while the White Sox are committed to his $18 million salary this year (plus a $1.5 million buyout on a 2023 option on his original contract with Chicago). The 34-year-old pitcher will return to the free agent market this offseason, and a strong showing in the final month of the season could help him in his efforts to find a major league contract this winter. Ragans was called up for his major league debut earlier this month. The former first-round pick has made four starts, allowing ten runs (nine earned) in 18 1/3 innings.

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