Kid Keutchy is bringing the confidence
The session with new Chicago White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel started with me mentioning that if there's anyone in baseball who deserves a normal spring training, it's him. After sitting out the 2019 spring waiting for a decent free agent offer and then rushing through a truncated ramp-up to his Atlanta Braves season, 2020 greets him and every MLB player with a pandemic.
"It has been a weird two straight seasons," he smiled. "One thing I learned last year was to try to stay on some sort of five-day routine, as a starting pitcher I'm very routine-oriented ... I've kind of hovered at that two-to-three innings [thinking that] and we'd have a two-to-three week spring training.
"We'll probably be in [stretch-run] mode in a short season, so I'll shoot to give five or six good innings before giving way to the bullpen."
Keuchel was also frank on a number of other topics this evening, starting with the recent failed negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA.
"I didn't expect this much pushback, especially with the CBA coming up. It was kind of disappointing," Keuchel said. "I really felt there would be a deal reached, but we were so far apart there was really no hope. I'm hoping something can be done to repair the relationship."
Of all the players we've spoken to so far in the early sessions, Keuchel seemed the most confident that White Sox players could legislate themselves when it comes to off-field behavior.
"We have to be really stingy about what people do off the field," he said. "We can lay down some rules to go by. A couple of key guys go down, it's gonna be difficult."
Keuchel had a great session with us today, and you can see the full talk below, courtesy of the Chicago White Sox:
And if you just want to skip to the SI-prompted highlights, here's my follow-up question to Kid Keuchy, at the very end: