He pitched in the Arizona Fall League for top major league prospects during the off season. Keuchel said the seven starts he made for Oklahoma City in Triple A at the end of last season also were valuable experience.
He was 1-1 with a lofty 7.50 ERA in those seven starts because of his troubles on the road. Keuchel was 1-0 with a 1.35 in three starts at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark but was roughed up in four road starts, recording no decisions and a 15.19 ERA.
“Having a hot start is nice just because you build your confidence up rather quickly,” he said. “I didn't perform very well on the road last year. That was something I wanted to come back here and do better. I got one road start under my belt and it was a quality start so hopefully I can build on that.”
Keuchel also enjoys pitching at the park that is just down the turnpike from his home in Tulsa, where he was part of two high school state baseball championship teams at Tulsa Kelley in 2004 and 2006.
“I was fortunate to play for some good teams,” he said. “My Little League team growing up, most of us went to Bishop Kelley and we just continued winning. It was a special time for those four years.”
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