Keuchel takes pressure off Soroka, Folty

FOX Sports South analyst Paul Byrd talks Braves...

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June 21, 2019 - 12:41 pm

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Dallas Keuchel will make his Atlanta Braves debut Friday against the Washington Nationals. The 2015 AL Cy Young winner signed with the Braves two weeks ago on a $13 million deal for the remainder of the season.

The 31-year-old will make his debut after to minor-league starts and hasn't pitched in a major league game since last October. He'll be up against Nationals' Stephen Strasburg.

What kind of impact will Keuchel have on this team?

"He's very good. He's a No. 1 to me," FOX Sports South Braves analyst Paul Byrd said. "He is a guy when you look at his numbers, you look at his playoff experience; the fact that he's won a World Series...he's never going to give in. Game's going to be on the line, maybe behind in the count...he's going to hit his spot and execute."

"When he brings all of those things to the table and all of these other players see that, he's going to be a huge piece, for me, that this team needs."

Bryd says having an experienced starter in Keuchel eases the pressure on guys like Mike Soroka and Mike Foltynewicz.

"I want a guy that I say, 'Okay, I'm going to take the pressure off of Soroka, a young guy, a Fried, some other guys,' and I'm going to say here's our guy. Here's our leader. Here's the man who's been there before. Here's a Cy Young Award winner. Here's the guy that if he wants can put a World Series ring on his finger...and we're going to start him at one. Then it takes the pressure off everybody else including Folty."

Related: More Atlanta Braves coverage on 92-9 The Game...