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White Sox sign Brad Keller to minor-league deal

by Joe Binder

Well, this one is interesting.

The White Sox announced on Friday that they have signed right-handed pitcher Brad Keller to a minor league contract. The deal also includes an invitation to major-league camp.

Keller, 28, is infamous for getting bat-flipped on by Tim Anderson during a game in April 2019. Let’s all relive that memory before going any further.

And the replay angle for good measure.

As we all know, Keller instigated a benches-clearing brawl after hitting Anderson during his next at-bat. The Royals pitcher was visibly shaken by the incident and had the following to say on The Charity Stripe podcast afterward:

“And how he acted afterward, to me and my whole team, was just over the top. It’s like, ‘Bro, you hit a homer. Congrats.’ This wasn’t a Game 7 homer. This wasn’t a playoff homer. This wasn’t even a homer to win the game.”

“Ultimately, we won the game, 3-2, in the long run, but that gets kind of lost in the whole transaction of everything. It just seemed like, at the time, it was an April home run. ‘Why are you throwing your bat to the dugout or whatever?’ We had beef in the past, as far as our teams, and that was just like fuel on the fire, basically, is what it seemed like.

via The Charity Stripe podcast

Now, the right-hander brings his 4.27 career ERA to the South Side where he’ll look to find some sort of momentum for a rather lackluster career. Oh, and he’ll reunite with battery mate Martin Maldonaldo, who was also behind the plate for the aforementioned incident. But let’s put the train back on the tracks here.

During 2023, Keller had his season cut short due to a shoulder injury and the eventual diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome. Though usually an injury that comes with career-derailing surgery for most pitchers, it was never made public that Keller underwent any sort of procedure to correct the issue. While this is somewhat of a positive for now, it remains to be seen if the injury becomes a recurring issue as he ramps up his throwing. The White Sox apparently felt comfortable enough, however, to at least give Keller a non-roster invite to prove his worth ahead of the season.

Keller has eaten innings in the past, but he holds a 5.14 ERA since the beginning of the 2021 campaign. The White Sox will likely start him out in Triple-A Charlotte, but given the current state of their rotation, there’s a possibility that he could wind up making starts or appearing in long-relief roles for the major-league squad sometime this season.

For more White Sox news, follow us on social media @SoxOn35th.

Featured Photo: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

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