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DENVER (AP) — Former Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel saw a little bit of Achilles soreness develop into a right calf strain shortly after covering first base Saturday night while pitching for the Minnesota Twins.
The 35-year-old left-hander was placed on the 15-day injured list Sunday before the playoff-bound Twins finished the regular season against the Colorado Rockies. Keuchel said he is slated for an MRI on Monday.
To take his place on the roster, the Twins returned right-hander Jorge Alcala from his rehabilitation assignment and reinstated him off the 60-day injured list. He was placed on the IL in May with a strained right forearm.
Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young winner for Houston, appeared in 10 games this season for the Twins, making six starts. He was 2-1 with a 5.97 ERA since being signed in June and on Sept. 23 reached 10 years of major league service.
All the time with the Twins did was ignite Keuchel's desire to return in 2024. He's eligilble to become a free agent.
“I’d like to,” the 35-year-old said of continuing his career. “Showing some signs of doing some good things. I think for the most part it was well. There was probably a couple (outings) that really kind of inflated what I was doing, but I think for the most part I was just wanting to win, have fun again and I think we accomplished that. I’d like to definitely pitch.”
Prior to the game, Keuchel had been had been dealing with a sore Achilles that he attributed to wearing cleats a little bit more, given his time in the bullpen.
“It’s kind of ironic, because last night I felt like going into it I was turning a corner,” Keuchel explained. “And then lo and behold, calf really tightened up on me.”
Keuchel covered first on a grounder to Jordan Luplow in the seventh inning of a game the Twins would end up winning 14-6. He didn't feel anything at the time but on the next batter, something grabbed on him.
“So I knew something was up,” explained Keuchel, who threw 2 2/3 innings to finish the game, allowing four runs and striking out four. “But I was able to throw some more pitches. It didn’t hurt. I’m not saying I’m a warrior by any means, but I just knew they wanted me to finish the game. If it did hurt throwing, I would have said something.”
He took a lot of pride in not coming out of the game.
“That’s just kind of how I am,” said Keuchel, who made his major league debut in 2012. "It’s not just going to be, ‘Hey, I gave up a couple runs because I wasn’t feeling great.’ It was, ‘Hey, anytime I go out there I expect to do my job, even if I’m 70% or 100%.’
"Just the name of the game for me. After I’m all said and done, I’m not going to have any regrets or any what-ifs.”
Minnesota also designated outfielder Gilberto Celestino for assignment. He hit .243 in 55 games with four homers and 31 RBIs.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb