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Sport Dallas Keuchel suggests White Sox can 'wreak a little havoc in the AL Central'

03:15  05 july  2020
03:15  05 july  2020 Source:   nbcsports.com

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PHOENIX -- Dallas Keuchel barely knew his new Chicago White Sox teammates. Many of the employees in the organization, he hadn’t even met. Prospects Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets were marveling over the gesture a week later, saying if they ever make it big in the game, they hope

Dallas Keuchel is ready to help take the White Sox to the next level. Keuchel said in a conference call with the Chicago media that he likes his new team’s black and white color scheme. He refers to his new teammates as “these young cats” and has already reached out to several of them, though the call

Dallas Keuchel suggests White Sox can 'wreak a little havoc in the AL Central' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

It's not how you start, it's how you finish, right?

That's one of baseball's myriad enduring maxims. But like a lot of the other ones, it's going to have to be chucked out the window during this most unusual of seasons.

The sport's typical six-month marathon has been squeezed down to a two-month sprint, the campaign down to 60 regular-season games as Major League Baseball attempts to play in the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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The White Sox reportedly signed Dallas Keuchel to a three-year deal on Saturday night. AL East. Blue Jays Orioles Rays Red Sox Yankees. In two days, the White Sox have turned their most pressing need as they exited last week’s winter meetings in San Diego into something resembling a

Just like Canadian summers, the White Sox bats took a little longer than normal to warm up in this Fortunately for the White Sox , they didn’t need a lot of runs early as Dallas Keuchel had his entire After just scoring just two runs through the first seven frames, the White Sox offense broke out in The White Sox winning streak is now at three games, the same total they lead the AL Central by as

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All 30 teams, obviously, were built for 162 games, not 60, sending everyone into a fit of head-scratching trying to figure out which clubs are best suited for the sprint to the postseason. That question is basically impossible to answer until teams start playing games.

A big factor? That ol' unpredictable variable: luck.

"Honestly, I think luck is going to play a (big) role in the 60-game season," White Sox starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel said Saturday. "It's going to be who kind of catches fire early and then who kind of catches fire late. If you can come out hot and play well early, and then idle for 20 games, but then kind of catch fire again the last 10, 15 games - there's a lot of different ways to do it. I've taken into account playoff years from my previous experience, and there's a lot of different ways."

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Dallas Keuchel career pitching statistics for Major League, Minor League, and postseason baseball. AL Central . RotoWire News: Keuchel may be better prepared for the pandemic-induced layoff than other starters, Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald reports.

White Sox 's Dallas Keuchel : Throws four innings Monday. by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire. The White Sox are sticking to their plan of not having their starters face AL Central foes, so rather than use Keuchel against the Royals, they had him throw a sim game in the backfields.

Keuchel would figure to be spot on, and it only takes a glance back at last season to provide some convincing arguments. The Washington Nationals ended up winning the World Series but were under .500 and in fourth place in the NL East standings after 60 games. The Seattle Mariners are the other side of that coin. They got out to a fast start and were in first place in the AL West after 30 games, only to finish the season with 94 losses.

With only about 37 percent of a normal season's games being played this year, each one is worth twice or thrice as usual. A losing streak could dash a team's playoff hopes. A sweep of a division rival could completely rearrange the postseason picture. Some fans are upset about more than 100 games getting lopped off the schedule, but this could prove pretty exciting.

So what about the White Sox? How are they positioned for this sprint?

For the moment, they appear much like they did back in March: on the cusp of leaping out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode, capable of competing with two good teams, the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians, for the AL Central crown. The young core of Yoán Moncada, Tim Anderson, Eloy Jiménez and Lucas Giolito broke out in a big way last season. Then Rick Hahn's front office went to work in the offseason, adding Keuchel, Yasmani Grandal and other veterans with winning experience to the mix. José Abreu, the face of the franchise, returned on a new contract. And highly touted prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal are expected to bring an even further boost.

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Dallas Keuchel : So I’m still- I’m still here in Phoenix. Just kind of when this all went down and the choice to go home or stay here, decided to stay here just because Phoenix weather is tough to beat right now at this point in time. I have a pool in the backyard so it’s- quarantine life is decent.

The 2005 White Sox swept reigning champion Boston in three games in the American League Division Series. Their five-game victory in the AL Championship Fortunately for the White Sox , they didn’t need a lot of runs early as Dallas Keuchel had his entire repertoire working. The veteran lefty, a

If some of the young pitchers in the White Sox rotation can answer some questions about their consistency, the White Sox could be even more balanced than the power-hitting Twins or the power-pitching Indians.

RELATED: White Sox in playoffs? Tim Anderson: 'Something dope can happen in 60 games'

Keuchel thinks the White Sox bats could end up being the key, and with Grandal, Robert, Madrigal, Edwin Encarnación and Nomar Mazara all joining the lineup for 2020, that could definitely be the case. That could be enough lumber, even, to get the South Siders to the top of the division for the first time in more than a decade.

Even with a lot riding on luck, though, Keuchel is confident. Remember, it was his mom who back in spring training gave the White Sox their 2020 rallying cry: "Playoffs or die, b-----s!"

"I think this team, if we can get off to a hot start, if the bats can swing it like we know they can now with how deep our lineup's going to be," Keuchel said, "then I think we might wreak a little havoc in the AL Central."

That's music to White Sox fans' ears, who after sitting through a few rebuilding seasons are champing at the bit for a pennant race, even in a shortened season.

The months-long layoff between spring training and "Summer Camp" could put the White Sox in an even better position, allowing some of their pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery to return to health and provide full-season options for Rick Renteria.

We'll see if they can slug with the Twins, or pitch with the Indians. But they look capable, and Keuchel - he's not the only one on the South Side, either - has confidence a season to remember could be in the works.

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