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The Dallas Keuchel thread (what went wrong, how to fix it)

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Nick, May 23, 2016.

  1. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Seeing as how there's been a thread about every other problem issue this team has had... from Gomez, to Giles (2 threads!), to Springer's early season struggles, to Correa not being an MVP yet.... figured there should be at least one dedicated thread to discussing what to me is the single biggest factor that epitomizes this season's regression.

    Most of us expected that he wouldn't be as good... and the pitching wouldn't be as good overall... but nobody expected THIS. Like many have said, he looks like the pitcher he was 3 years ago... combine with a decrease in overall velocity along with spotty control (which may or may not be due to him trying to pitch more perfectly due to the lack of "stuff").

    Anyways, discuss away... going to be a long summer...
     
  2. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    The A's just put Sonny Gray on the DL with a "trapezius muscle strain". I'm not saying he isn't hurt and it isn't the reason why he's been mostly complete crap this season...but it would appear they're just giving him a couple of weeks off to get his head right. The Astros need to do this with Keuchel. Let Feliz start a game and give Dallas some time off.
     
  3. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

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    His arm simply isn't the same. His velocity has been down from the start, but his control is average at best, and he doesn't have stuff to compete without pinpoint control. He's frequently falling behind in the count and having to come over the plate, or his pitches are drifting over the plate early in the count and getting attacked.

    I don't think there's really anything we can do about it aside from giving him time off. This is a medical issue, and that's not me saying it's necessarily an injury, just that this is an issue of a player not being at the same level physically. Hopefully his arm will rebound, but I don't think there's any baseball adjustment he can make. He's bringing a knife to a gun fight right now.
     
  4. roxallways

    roxallways Member
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    I agree the team needs to DL Keuchel right now. He's hurting the team. The pitching overall other then Keuchel has been coming around for the most part and I feel hitting is the biggest issue overall with the team but Keuchel can't be trusted. Keuchel is very prideful and will fight being sat down but he's not above the team.
     
  5. robbie380

    robbie380 ლ(▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ლ)
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    I'm just going to guess that he is hurt.
     
  6. UTAllTheWay

    UTAllTheWay Member

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    He looks like his arms is tired to me. And he is nowhere near where he was last year. His control is bad. He not only misses his spots, he misses them in a place where the batter can hit it hard.

    They need to make the decision to shut him down. If they are waiting for him to do it, it will never happen.
     
  7. dc rock

    dc rock Contributing Member

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    Can you DL someone for "fatigue" ?
     
  8. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    I *hope* it's as simple as, fatigue --> lack of velocity, and lack of velocity --> trying too hard on control (which results in just missing or leaving the ball over the plate eventually)
     
  9. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    That's my theory. Even when velocity was better, he still had to be precise about it. Trying to be too precise, with lesser stuff, is a recipe for disaster.

    There will be times where its still effective... see the last start where he was cruising till the 6th, or the start against Seattle where he was cruising till the 5th, or the 8 inning game against Detroit earlier this year (his best start, by far).

    Hell, I bet he could still get a complete game shutout against this Astros lineup.... maybe that's the problem all along (too many intersquad ST games against inferior competition at the plate!).
     
  10. Major

    Major Member

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    There's also a longer-term issue to be worried about with him. He relies on the low strike call to generate weak ground balls. If they are raising the strike zone a few inches next year, what does that to do his effectiveness even if the good version of him returns? His go-to pitch goes from being a strike to being a ball.
     
  11. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Good point... then again, umpires *knowledge* of the strike zone (current, adjusted, whatever) seems to be at an all-time worst anyways, as its consistently inconsistent from game to game (sometimes within the same game), and its far more noticeable now with every game having its own computerized zone for the fans.

    I just don't see how MLB wants to enforce a new strike zone, yet can't keep its umps accountable for the old one. They need to advance the computerized/laser model technology enough to at least trial it in some real games (exhibition or otherwise) to get the ball rolling on that.

    Would anybody, other than the umpires themselves, object to a standard/computerized zone?
     
  12. msn

    msn Member

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    Not me.
     
  13. Jay713

    Jay713 Member

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    2 year wonder.
     
  14. thaGREATwall

    thaGREATwall Member

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    I've been hoping to go that route for years now. I guess the only objection to it is a guy like Keuchel who doesn't really have electric stuff but who is great at painting the outside edges. He lives off the inconsistencies of the umpires and his job is to see what the umps are calling and aren't calling and use it to his advantage.

    But as a fan, it's beyond frustrating to see this computerized zone that shows me where exactly the pitch is and to routinely see the ump be WAY off. I think you'd still need a home plate umpire, if for nothing else than to call close plays at home, and then of course your umpires out in the field. So I really don't see much reason why they should even be fighting this.
     
  15. thaGREATwall

    thaGREATwall Member

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    Man, I hope not. But it's beginning to look that way. Dude has fallen off a cliff. Really hope he can climb his way back up.
     
  16. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    The zone seems to be consistently inconsistent within individual ab's. Umps have only seemed to get worse.
     
  17. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!

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    If I remember correctly, Keuchel had the most called strikes outside the average 2015 zone (which was huge versus ten years ago) last year. Umpires, for all the calls for consistency, are likely more consistent now than ever (though not close to what a "robot" could likely do). If umpires are calling Keuchel correctly, he's going to be a much worse.

    I think a lot of Keuchel's success was him finding out that umpires would call low strikes. Looking at fangraphs heat maps, it looks like he's getting the called strike just below the zone about 25% less this season than last. Loss of velocity and being forced by umpires to throw actual strikes has a very synergistic effect on decreasing Keuchel's ability to prevent runs.
     
  18. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Corners of the zones should still be called... that, and when a pitcher misses his spot with the catcher having to adjust but its still a strike, is where current umps have the most consistency issues. While Keuchel does make a living off the corners, he's still usually right on the edge of the zone which would still warrant a computerized call.

    I have no problems with umps actually still *making* the call... but I want a computer telling them which call they should be making. They'd probably need to phase it in, with some parts of games being called by the computer and some being called by the humans. Or umpires being given live feedback of whether or not they got a call right. I can't imagine that would be very hard to implement... unless its being done already and we just don't know about it.
     
  19. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Is this an opinion or based on evidence?

    I agree they're more scrutinized now, and can't just make up zones like Erik Gregg used to do... but I don't see more consistency than ever before. Far from it.
     
  20. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    The velocity drop is troubling, but I don't think things are as bad as they seem. .351 BABIP. 3.68 xFIP. K/9 and GB% in line with norms. I think a combo of bad luck, pressure, ump squeeze, and fatigue/injury have made for a perfect storm, but I am hopeful he will bounce back.
     

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