Dallas Keuchel took home his fifth Gold Glove award on Sunday night. The 33-year old veteran beat out Blue Jays’ starter Jose Berríos and Zack Greinke of the Houston Astros. Keuchel was the White Sox lone Gold Glove nominee.
With the victory, he extended the White Sox streak of Gold Glove winners to three years. In 2019 Yolmer Sanchez won a Gold Glove for his work at second base. Last season Luis Robert earned the award for his defense in center field. However, he is the first pitcher since Jake Peavy in 2012, to win the award.
The southpaw became the fourth White Sox pitcher in the franchise history to earn a Gold Glove. Keuchel won his previous four with the Houston Astros. His five Gold Gloves are the second-most among active pitchers. Only fellow nominee, Zack Greinke has more with six.
Dallas Keuchel wasn’t much of a pitcher for the White Sox this season. One year after posting a 1.99 ERA that helped him finish fifth in the Cy Young voting, he unraveled. His ERA imploded to a career-worst 5.28. Things got so bad that he was left off the White Sox playoff roster. One of the reasons Keuchel’s defense had to be so good is because he was consistently getting shelled. Had he not been sharp with the glove his numbers could have been even worse.
He only committed one error and finished the season with a .980 fielding percentage. That error was Keuchl’s first defensive lapse since 2017. The bearded lefty also led MLB pitchers with 41 assists. His 2.67 range factor was also the best in the MLB.
The most impressive stat from Keuchel’s 2021 campaign was his 12 defensive runs saved. Not only is that a career-high for the veteran but it is the most runs saved by a pitcher in nine years.
He is now tied for the eighth-most Gold Gloves all-time. Besides Greinke, he only trails Greg Maddux (18), Jim Kaat (16), Bob Gibson (9), Bobby Shantz (8), Mark Langston (8), and Mike Mussina (7). That list features multiple Hall of Famers
Unfortunately for Keuchel, he isn’t being graded solely on his defense. His performance on the mound handicapped the White Sox for much of the 2021 season. Keuchel is under contract for one more season at $18 million. The team holds a $20 million option in 2023, so if Keuchel wants to stick around his output needs to improve.