Astros coaches meet with Keuchel to talk plans

Astros coaches meet with Keuchel to talk plans

MILWAUKEE -- Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco, pitching coach Doug Brocail and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson met for about 20 minutes Sunday with rookie starter Dallas Keuchel, who was roughed up for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in his final start of the season Saturday in Milwaukee, in what was a sort of exit interview.

DeFrancesco said the coaches went over some of the adjustments they'd like to see Keuchel make next year to stick in the rotation. In addition to wanting him to get bigger and stronger, DeFrancesco said he needs to establish his sinker more and hold runners better.

"Some of the mistakes he made [Saturday], hopefully next year he comes to Spring Training with confidence with his sinker as his No. 1 pitch and his changeup," he said. "When you come to Spring Training, there's new eyes on you, and you really have to impress because everybody is in the same boat."

Keuchel made 16 starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City and was 6-4 with a 3.90 ERA and made 16 starts with the Astros, going 3-8 with a 5.27 ERA and 14 homers allowed.

"Going into a new league next year, you're going to have some bigger, stronger guys with a DH in there," DeFrancesco said. "Most of the time with a left-handed pitcher, you're going to see a right-handed lineup like you did [Saturday], so we're going to have to be able to get righties out consistently."