Chicago Cubs: Dallas Keuchel should be a rotation target

(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: A rocky beginning, of sorts

The cream of the starting pitching crop is undoubtedly Cole and Strasburg. Following those two is New York Mets starter Zack Wheeler. After that, its Madison Bumgarner and Keuchel, both of whom still can provide value at their price to any respective team.

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Keuchel has had a relatively stable career up to this point. In 202 starts, spanning precisely 1,302 innings, the veteran lefty carries a 3.67 ERA with a 3.80 FIP and 3.52 xFIP, respectively. A former seventh-round selection by the Houston Astros in 2009, Keuchel was all over the place on the mound during his rise to the Show.

While Keuchel excelled in his first professional season Low-A, things got worse before they got better. He saw his ERA rise with each subsequent next level of baseball, and within two years, reached Triple-A; however, unfortunately, he posted a 7.50 ERA in his first stint.

Things were much better the following year, and in 2012, Keuchel made his Astros debut. His first time around the league was not pretty, as Keuchel pitched to the tune of a 5.27 ERA with a 10.1 percent strikeout rate and a 10.3 percent walk rate. The 2013 campaign was much of the same, and it would not be until the following year where Keuchel would get his bearings straight.