[Update]: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Keuchel was actually pitching with the foot injury during the second half of the season and in the playoffs.
The Houston Astros have several months before they need to begin worrying about defending their World Series title. Good thing, too, because if the 2018 season started on Sunday, the world champions would be without one of their most important players.
Left-handed starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel is currently in a walking boot after suffering a minor foot sprain, a team official confirmed to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The injury is not considered serious, and the Astros expect Keuchel to be ready for spring training. Funny enough, Keuchel says that he originally suffered the sprain while celebrating Houston’s World Series victory with his teammates.
“I slipped and fell, man, during the parade,” he told TMZ after a night out in Los Angeles. “It was a good time.”
Keuchel enjoyed a bounce-back campaign in 2017. He went 14-5 last season with a 2.90 ERA, striking out 125 opposing batters in 145.2 innings pitched. The 29-year-old wasn’t nearly as effective in the postseason, though, going 2-2 in five starts and allowing six earned runs during his only appearance in the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Still, last season could be considered nothing but an ultimate success individually for Keuchel, who first rose to prominence by winning the Cy Young Award in 2015. One year later, he went 9-12 with a 4.55 ERA, leading some to believe that his dominant 2015 season was a flash in the pan. Despite the fact that he’s wearing a walking boot, the Astros should expect another stellar season from Keuchel come spring.