HomeTrending MLB NewsWhite Sox to designate RHP Brad Keller for assignment

White Sox to designate RHP Brad Keller for assignment

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The White Sox are designating right-hander Brad Keller for assignment, James Fegan of Sox Machine reports (links to X).  Dominic Leone is being activated from the 15-day injured list to take Keller’s spot on the active roster.

After three increasingly rough seasons with the Royals, Keller caught on with Chicago on a minor league deal over the offseason and that contract was selected to the big league roster at the end of April.  Keller’s five games in a Sox uniform have consisted of two starts and three relief appearances, and his most recent outing saw him allow five earned runs to the Yankees over four innings of work in yesterday’s 6-1 Chicago loss.

That boosted Keller’s ERA to 4.86 over 16 2/3 total frames, with an underwhelming 17.7% strikeout rate and an okay 7.9% walk rate.  Keller’s 56.1% grounder rate is impressive but he has also benefited from a .231 BABIP and been hit hard when he hasn’t been able to keep the ball on the ground.  Over his small sample size of work, Keller has allowed five home runs, including four from the Yankees yesterday.

To be fair, Keller had a 2.84 ERA in his 12 2/3 innings before facing New York, and he is hardly the first pitcher to have problems with the dangerous Yankees lineup.  While this move might seem like something of a quick trigger from the White Sox, it could be that the team is looking to open a rotation spot for Jared Shuster, who has looked very sharp in multi-inning relief outings this season.  Since the Sox are obviously looking ahead to 2025 and beyond, they could simply see more value in letting Shuster pitch more meaningful innings now and parting ways with a veteran like Keller who isn’t in their long-term plans.

It should be noted that Keller’s 2023 season was cut short by thoracic outlet syndrome, and he underwent TOS surgery last October.  While the procedure has led to diminished results for many pitchers in their returns to the mound, Keller’s work to date has been somewhat promising, and his numbers could improve once he gets more fully comfortable in the aftermath of such a notable surgery.

This means that Keller could certainly draw some attention on the waiver wire from any team looking for a quick influx of innings in the rotation or the bullpen.  The White Sox could work out a trade or might let Keller go on waivers entirely without any return.  If he clears waivers, Keller has enough MLB service time to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency.

Leone will return after just the minimum of 15 days after dealing with some back tightness.  The veteran right-hander has struggled to a 6.75 ERA in 14 2/3 innings out of Chicago’s bullpen this season and has already allowed 11 walks and four home runs.

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