17 June, 2023
Bobby Miller, a pitcher for the Dodgers, exudes a distinct aura when he takes the mound. Each pitch is made with assurance. Every action has a purpose. More often than not, every arm movement yields a good offering.
David Peralta, an outfielder with the Dodgers, stated, “Every time he gets on the mound, it’s a presence. ‘Hey, I’m the best here,’ sort of thing. And that is the mentality you need to adopt.
The 24-year-old’s output thus far in his brief career confirms that mentality on the mound.
In four appearances, Miller has a 3-0 record, a 0.78 ERA, and 23 strikeouts. His start to his career is comparable to Fernando Valenzuela’s in 1981, when he had a 0.25 ERA, 21 strikeouts, and a 4-0 record in his first four starts. After winning Rookie of the Year, Valenzuela was instrumental in the Dodgers’ World Series victory.
The Dodgers brought up Miller from Triple-A Oklahoma City on May 23 as a result of a string of injuries to their starting rotation. In Atlanta, around 737 miles from his hometown of Elk Grove, Illinois, he made his MLB debut. However, Miller appeared at ease when pitching. In four innings, he struck out five batters while giving up just one run, helping the Dodgers to an 8-1 victory.
Since then, Miller has made three starts and allowed a total of one run while striking out 10 more batters (18) than he has allowed hits (eight). According to MLB.com, Miller made his first career start against the Philadelphia Phillies and went six innings without allowing a run, becoming him the third pitcher to do it in each of his first four professional games in the same season.
Chris Taylor, the shortstop for the Dodgers, stated, “He’s definitely not intimidated.” “In his debut, he faced the Braves, who had a strong offensive and some powerful hitters, and he attacked them head-on and didn’t back down, so to speak. You enjoy seeing that in a young man.
Miller’s explosive start has been exactly what the Dodgers have needed. The starting rotation is without Julio Urias, Dustin May, Noah Syndergaard, and Walker Buehler.
Both Buehler and May’s injuries are long-term setbacks; according to the Los Angeles Times, Buehler plans to return on September 1 while May was added to the 60-day disabled list late last month. Both Syndergaard and Urias are listed as 15-day injured; Urias hasn’t thrown since May 18.
“He’s been great. Just to be able to have a guy come in and not only log innings, but be really good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s been fun to watch him kind of ascent really quickly.”
The competitive nature and on-the-mound persona that immediately stood out to colleagues contributed significantly to that ascension.
Dodgers’ shortstop Miller was referred to as “a dog” by Miguel Rojas for attacking the striking zone. In his start on June 4 against the New York Yankees, Rojas the rookie pitcher shown his tenacity. Miller’s control in his debut, according to Peralta, convinced him that he had a unique quality. Mookie Betts, a right fielder for the Dodgers, highlighted Miller’s lack of fear.
“He’s not scared to compete, and that’s something super important, especially in this level. You’re facing some good lineups, too,” Betts said. “He’s a fierce competitor. I think that’s what makes him so good.”
Peralta is appreciative that Miller is on his side and that he is not standing in the batter’s box next to him.
He laughed, “I’m not looking for it.” “I simply want to be out there on the field while he’s pitching. What I want to do is that.
When Miller was brought up, inconsistency could have been anticipated from such a rookie pitcher. Betts acknowledged that he had none.
He remarked, “Hell, I was watching like everyone else was watching, you know? “I just so happened to be on the field, too.”
Baseball, a sport with ups and downs over the course of a career, makes it difficult to predict whether a rookie will contribute right away, according to Rojas. Miller will inevitably return to Earth after experiencing such a high, Rojas acknowledged.
The Dodgers are hoping this high continues at least until the return of their injured starters. And even if those pitchers return to health, according to Betts, Miller has demonstrated enough to earn a permanent spot in the rotation.
“I’m glad he is here. He’s definitely here to help. I’m glad just for him,” Betts said. “He’s a really good kid and it’s good fun to talk to, and I know he’s gonna have a lot of success.”