While Keuchel is patiently awaiting action Monday, he’s able to see the potential with the Braves. Reuniting with catcher Brian McCann (the two played in Houston in 2017 and 2018) was a draw for him.
He said he spoke with McCann and was filled in on the current state of the Braves. There wasn’t much of a pitch needed, as there was mutual interest.
“Making the playoffs was a great sign for their young ballclub,” Keuchel said of what drew him to Atlanta. “With quite a few rookies involved in the process, then you’ve got a few more rookies this year. If you want to be a great organization and compete for a number of years like the Braves did in the ’90s and early 2000s, you need that.”
Keuchel previously stated the date of his next major league start is flexible. It’s likely he will pitch in a couple of minor league stints before making his debut.
He hopes to join the Braves’ five-man rotation, which currently consists of Mike Foltynewicz, Julio Teheran, Max Fried, Kevin Gausman and Mike Soroka. It’s unclear who Keuchel will replace. But he’s hoping his experience, having won the 2015 American League Cy Young Award and starting in the 2017 World Series, will make a difference.
“I want to be the guy out there that the guys lean on, hopefully at the end of the season there’s five guys that the team wants to lean on and that’s the mentality that I’m going to bring to the team. … We’ll see where it goes.”