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Bobby Miller Pitches A Gem and Looks To Become A Fixture In The Rotation

Bobby Miller was making his Dodger Stadium debut on Monday night and was overwhelming.  The Nationals are not the pushovers many thought they would be.  They are one of the best  (if not the best) bat to ball skill team in MLB.  Miller struck out 4 and only walked 1.

Washington has the best batting average for any NL team and #3 in MLB.  They are #4 in NL OBP and #8 MLB.  The Dodgers are 22nd in MLB in batting average and 11th in OBP.  The Nationals have struck out the least number of times in the NL and second least in MLB.  Contrarily, the Dodgers have struck out the second most in the NL and 6th most in MLB.

Bobby made a couple of mistakes, but very few.  One of those mistakes presented the Dodgers with perhaps the biggest game changing defensive play.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd and  2 outs, CJ Abrams singled to RF to score the first runner.  However, Jason Heyward threw a 94.7 MPH one hopper to Will Smith to tag out the trailing runner to end the inning. Big moment in the game.  Instead of at least 2-0, it was only 1-0.

 

Bobby faced 22 batters and threw strike 1 to 14 of them. He showcased his full repertoire of pitches (5), and with the guidance of Will Smith, mixed them very well.  He threw his sinker the most (27) with his 4-seamer and change being his #2 offering (18 each).  That is the second time that Miller has said that he put his full faith in Will to call the game, and just let him pitch.  It was a combo that is producing dominating pitching performances.

For most of the game the Dodger hitters were not productive.  However, for one inning, the bats came to life after CJ Abrams booted a DP ball.  With runners on the corners, James Outman, who broke an 0-18 string with a single earlier in the 3rd inning, drove his 1st pitch into LF for a game tying sac fly.

Chris Taylor grounded into a force play, but it was his hustle that kept him out of a DP.  Mookie then hit a 2-out single that was followed by a Freddie 2-run double.  It was Freddie’s 17th double for the Month of May, which makes Freddie the franchise leader for doubles in a calendar month.  He passed former Dodger icon, Babe Herman.

With the score at 3-1, Will Smith drew a BB bringing up JD Martinez.  JDM stayed hot and hit a 3-run HR into the right center field stands and a 6-1 lead.  David Peralta followed with another single.  LAD did not get another base runner the rest of the game.  Washington relievers retired the last 10 Dodgers to come to the plate.

Bobby Miller is now 2-0 in his two MLB starts.  After Monday’s game, Bobby pitched 6.0 innings, allowing only 1 run on 4 hits, 1 walk and 3 Ks.  With his 2 starts against 2 very good offensive teams, Bobby Miller has now pitched 11.0 innings.  His ERA is down to 1.64 and his WHIP is at 0.91.

Doc has already said that Bobby will be making his next start on Sunday at home vs NYY.  I think it is going to be fun watching strength against strength with Miller vs Aaron Judge.  How long after Sunday, remains to be seen.

It is likely that Michael Grove will be taking Gavin Stone’s spot in the rotation for Saturday.  As long as he continues to be productive, Bobby Miller will be the odds on favorite to replace Grove in Dustin May’s spot.  Maybe Bobby Miller will be this year’s version of Atlanta’s Spencer Strider.

It was only 1 game, but it was exciting to see a glimpse into the future with Bobby Miller on the mound, thinking what it might be like next year with Buehler, May, Gonsolin, and Miller, and ?????  But that is 2024, and there is still a bunch of 2023 to get excited about.

 

 

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Bumsrap

I want to see Stone one more time.

Miller is good and he isn’t even our #1 prospect.

Outman looked good yesterday.

Taylor tried to pull every low and away pitch.

Take your time Max. Get healthy.

Dave

It might end up being Kershaw, Gonsolin, Miller, Grove and Urias. It looks like they all can outpitch Thor. Can he be effective in the bullpen?

SandyIsTheGreatest

Doubt it. Stuff just isn’t there.

Badger

I’m willing to admit I may have been wrong about Martinez. It’s a long season. I do hope he’s there, with his OPS at .800, for all of it.

Miller does look ready. I sure hope so. This team needs his 6 innings. And I can’t believe I’m saying that. After years of watching complete games, it’s now 6 innings.

And, 6 unearned runs. Washington sucks. We do need to take advantage whenever we can.

Stone one more time? Against the bad teams, sure. Against the Yankees? No.

Last edited 8 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

Just give Judge the intentional walk every at bat.

Yep, Martinez is the real thing. Who replaces him next year?

I’d rather skip Thor than Stone.

Betts made plays at short and it woke up his bat some.

Dave

With a couple off days coming up they could skip Thor twice. Let him spend that time working w the coaches to figure something out.

Oldbear48

Kid has cojones. He pitched really well. Offense got a break with the error.

Bobby

Not sure if you all saw this article, but I”m sure Jeff has, or Jeff would love to see:

Dodgers Prospect Notes: Figueroa, Munoz, Lantigua, Vargas, and more are shining at Camelback/Las Palmas, Complex Leagues about to kick off

Bumsrap

Derlin Figueroa
Future shortstop?

Last edited 8 months ago by Bumsrap
Bumsrap

…..”I am not a fan of this (but then who am I)” Jeff, you are good enough of a researcher and baseball fan to speak to power–that’s who you are. I happen to agree with you.

I played a lot of shortstop and when faster players took that position from me I had no problem moving to other positions except for catcher. If I could play a little short I could play a little somewhere else. With that logic and scant experience I say if a prospect can play short then put him there until someone pushes him off of it.

tedraymond

So far this season the pitching staff’s ERA is the worst in LA Dodger history at 4.50 (as of Sunday). The starters’ ERA is at 4.37. The last Dodger staff to have an ERA above four was in 2010. That’s what I consider an amazing record for consistency.

Most of us have issues with so many hitters with averages about .200 or worse, but it’s been the pitching that seems to be the big problem at this point of the season. Other than Miller’s recent outings there isn’t any consistency from either the starters or bullpen. The team has used 23 pitchers in only two months (three with only one inning). That’s crazy to me and shows how injuries and ineffectiveness have turned the staff upside down.

Gavin Stone has been a real disappointment so far. I haven’t been impressed with the effectiveness of his pitches. But, in his defense, he has only given up one HR and has to face the Phils, Braves, and Devil Rays which have above average offenses. It might be time for him to return to OKC for some more seasoning. Some fans are calling for one more start and I would be OK with that. It looks like that might be against the Yankees so there’s that. He can’t catch a break.

On the other hand, Bobby Miller has been a nice surprise and couldn’t have happened at a better time (other than the postseason). Good for him, the Dodgers, and fans!

It’s sad to see the issues that Dustin May is facing. His recent injury after just returning from TJ surgery and rehab is concerning for his long term future. His time as a starter or even a MLB pitcher may be ending.

Bottom lining this the staff needs to get healthy and stay that way for the second half of the season. The starters’ injuries and inconsistencies which leads to overuse of the bullpen which leads to too many games where the offensive produces and they still lose. That’s not a winning formula. So far, the Dodgers have managed to overcome those issues, but can’t be expected to continue to do so.
Carry on

Last edited 8 months ago by tedraymond
Singing the Blue

Josue DePaula has been assigned to Rancho. He’ll be an interesting one to keep tabs on.

Last edited 8 months ago by Singing the Blue
Jeff Dominique

Yeah, I missed that one. Chris Newell got a well deserved promotion to GL, so RC needed power hitting OF. Come on down, De Paula. Let’s see what the big guy does. I am all in favor of this push.

Sam Oyed

Some interesting stats in today’s article and comments;

1. Per Jeff: Washington has the best batting average for any NL team and #3 in MLB. They are #4 in NL OBP and #8 MLB. The Dodgers are 22nd in MLB in batting average and 11th in OBP. The Nationals have struck out the least number of times in the NL and second least in MLB. Contrarily, the Dodgers have struck out the second most in the NL and 6th most in MLB.

2.Per Tedraymond: so far this season the pitching staff’s ERA is the worst in LA Dodger history at 4.50 (as of Sunday). The starters’ ERA is at 4.37.

So how does this team have the best record in the NL and third best in baseball?

Jeff Dominique

They find ways to win. They do not quit. Even in the game they lost to Tampa Bay, they clawed back from 4 down and later 3 down. A game in Pittsburgh earlier from way down to win. That is what good teams do. Mookie may not be hitting much, but they generally count. Freeman and Smith have stayed hot most of the year. They had Muncy and Outman carry them for awhile. JDM since he came off the IL. CT3 has been getting clutch HRs. Good teams find a way to win.

FWIW, the Dodgers do have the power and Washington does not. LAD believes in power while bat to ball skills are not as important. They would like both, but if there is a choice of one, it is power.

Sam Oyed

It’s interesting that you highlight the power difference. While we all, at times, complain about the Dodgers approach, the data mentioned today suggests, just maybe, the Dodgers know what they are doing.

tedraymond

Sam, it is hard to believe with all their pitching woes and having so many hitters with low averages are the best in the NL. I think their team average is .238 which is 22nd in MLB. I guess it’s the competition.

The Dodgers have had an incredible decade of success and us fans are spoiled. The Dodgers have some incredible players that help overcome all the injuries/faults we comment on or complain about. Check out our competition’s rosters. Other than the over rated Padres only the Mets, Phils, Braves have more than one star player and even then the Braves are the only one over .500 in the NL. That leaves five teams that are .500 or better and there are no established “stars” on their teams. I would bet that those teams (excluding Brewers) now over .500 won’t be by the end of the season. That’s why stars are stars. They win over the long season.

But, I get your point – how can the Dodgers be the best in the NL?

Bobby

Dare I give Dave Roberts credit???

tedraymond

Hell, why not ! Go for it Bobby

Singing the Blue

We’ve had some discussions here about our depth at the catching position. We’ve discussed Feduccia, Cartaya and Rushing numerous times.

Then, we have Yeiner Fernandez who had a nice year at Rancho in 2022 and is doing well at Great Lakes this year.

One name we haven’t spoken about a lot is Thayron Liranzo. Most experts feel his future will be at 1B/DH but he is already building up some nice stats at Rancho at the age of 19.

The following is a short write-up courtesy of From Rancho to the Ravine:

“At just 19 years-old, Liranzo already fills out a 6-foot-3, 195 lbs frame that he uses to force baseballs over the fence.
Even at his young age, Liranzo has been the cleanup hitter most of the season for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He only trails teammate Chris Newell for the California League lead in homers with 12. He has an OPS above .900 from both sides of the plate and has an impressive 16.4% walk rate. While his high strikeout rate is a bit concerning, it can be credited a bit to his young age. Even if Liranzo has to move away from catching, a switch-hitting first baseman or designated hitter that could grow into 30+ home run power is a very valuable prospect.”

Switch-hitting 19 year old with an OPS above .900 from both sides of the plate. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Bumsrap

Lots of depth at catcher and yet nobody is pushing Barnes.

Badger

Good point Fred.

Notta to worry. Cartaya’s ETA is ‘24 so his arrival will solve that problem. He’s hitting .188 in AA you say? By the end of the year, he will have solved that problem.

In the meantime, we can live with Barnes.

Singing the Blue

Based on what Cartaya is doing this year, I would say his arrival may very well be pushed back to 2025.

Speaking of catchers, there is a kid mentioned in the article Bobby posted and on which Jeff commented, Eduardo Quintero. He was signed as a catcher, because of course he was, but they’ve got him at a 70 speed rating and have already converted him to a center fielder.

Singing the Blue

I’d be happy with another Craig Biggio.
Cavan Biggio, not so much.

Singing the Blue

Newell’s debut at Great Lakes went nicely.
A walk, double and 2 homers with 5 RBI.

I assume this means they promote him to Tulsa tomorrow. 🙂

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