Bobby Miller proving he could save Dodgers from big offseason dilemma

One step at a time, but the Dodgers may not be so doomed after all.
Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers
Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Bobby Miller has found his groove after hitting a rough patch that derailed his special start to the 2023 season. The right-hander has twirled three quality outings out of his last five, a stretch during which the Dodgers are 4-1.

His latest triumph was over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. He allowed just one run on one hit and one walk over six innings of work, and was removed after 74 pitches, as the Dodgers look to manage his workload with the home stretch approaching.

His previous outing featured six scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He allowed four hits and four walks in the 2-0 win. He labored a bit in that one, though, as he mostly has dating back to the start of the season. His start against the Brewers was by far his most efficient of the year.

Miller continues to perform against contenders and top offenses, which is putting the Dodgers in a favorable position when the inevitable offseason headache arrives and both Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw hit free agency.

Miller won't be the savior, but with Walker Buehler returning and the Dodgers hopefully retaining one of those veterans, Miller plus another rotation addition should keep the unit stabilized moving forward.

Bobby Miller proving he could save Dodgers from big offseason dilemma

That four-start stretch from June 17 - July 5 had some Dodgers fans concerned, and rightfully so. Miller faced the Giants, Astros, Royals and Pirates, and though LA won three out of those four games, the rookie allowed 20 earned runs in just 20.1 innings of work and failed to complete six full innings in any of the outings.

Since then, Miller hasn't given up more than three runs in a single start and has gone six or more innings three times. That's brought his season numbers to a 3.70 ERA, 3.48 FIP and 1.17 WHIP. He's struck out 70 batters in his 75.1 innings while allowing just 0.7 HR/9 and 2.6 BB/9.

His advanced metrics are overall good with some areas for improvement (such has hard hit percentage, strikeout percentage, whiff percentage and chase rate), but it's hard to ask for more from the 24-year-old in his first taste of big-league action.

Assuming he takes the proper steps forward, Miller is quickly shaping up to be a top-of-the-rotation arm at this very moment. In 2024, he could be the team's unequivocal No. 2, depending on how things shake out.

But at the very least, his growth will help the Dodgers cope with the loss of Urías or Kershaw, as Andrew Friedman navigates what's probably going to be a complicated offseason.