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Keller fine with limit on innings down stretch

@FlannyMLB
August 25, 2019

CLEVELAND -- Royals manager Ned Yost said on Sunday that right-hander Brad Keller will not log any more than 100 pitches per game for the rest of 2019. “We’re not going to push him past that,” Yost said. “I would say 100 will be the max.” Yost already has indicated

CLEVELAND -- Royals manager Ned Yost said on Sunday that right-hander Brad Keller will not log any more than 100 pitches per game for the rest of 2019.

“We’re not going to push him past that,” Yost said. “I would say 100 will be the max.”

Yost already has indicated that the organization is going to limit Keller’s innings down the stretch. Keller, who will start Monday's series opener against the A's at Kauffman Stadium, is at 164 innings. His previous professional high had been 142 innings in the Minors in 2015.

“I have a number in mind,” Yost said of the maximum of innings he wants Keller to throw. “But I want to get home and talk to [general manager] Dayton [Moore] about it first. We want to do what we can to protect him down the stretch.”

Keller said he is OK with whatever decision the organization comes up with.

“Obviously going into the season, the goal was 200 innings,” Keller said. “That’s potentially still a goal, but I don’t know if they’ll let me.

“Health is a big thing. You want to get through the season healthy.”

Keller likely could get five or so more starts after Monday.

“I feel strong,” he said. “But my biggest workload before was 140 innings or so, so a 60-inning jump is a big deal. At times, you feel tired right now. But everyone is tired. It’s August. But I feel fine overall. But it is a big jump so I can see why they want to limit the innings and pitches.”

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.