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Dodgers notes: Bobby Miller’s hot start, bullpen woes, Nick Robertson

Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Bobby Miller’s first four starts have been incredible, allowing only two runs in 23 innings so far, with 23 strikeouts. That includes two straight scoreless starts and 16 consecutive scoreless innings heading into his next start on Friday.

Before his third start, at home against the Yankees on June 4, Miller made tweaks to his slider, which has helped him greatly over his last two starts, each of which six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.

Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times detailed those changes, and how others in the organization are reacting to their top pitching prospect actualizing his promise to date:

“Obviously, this is as good as we could have asked for,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “We knew the premium stuff was in place. But you never really know with a young player until they get up and have success and failure.”

Said Billy Gasparino, the Dodgers’ vice president of amateur scouting: “I think ‘emerge’ is a great word. I think he is still evolving. But honestly, it’s been a step forward in the major leagues.”

Catcher Will Smith was impressed on Saturday when Miller beat the Phillies.

“His slider’s come a long way; he’s made a couple adjustments since he got here, and it’s been great,” Smith told Paul Casella of MLB.com. “Changeup is also a great wipeout pitch. And the curveball, that’s how you slow guys down. He’s put guys away with it, he can land it for strikes. He just mixes all four.”

Clayton Kershaw in an interview with David Vassegh on Dodger Talk said he hasn’t seen Miller pitch too often, especially this spring when the right-hander was sidelined with shoulder soreness.

From Kershaw:

“I kind of thought that he just reared back and threw 100, and whatever happens, happens. That slider he was throwing against the Yankees was real. That was a really good slider. You’ve seen flashes of a good curveball, and he throws a changeup enough, too. He’s got four legit pitches, and then he has a sinker as well that he’s throwing a lot to righties. You can honestly say he has five pitches, and I’ve barely had three my whole career.”

Links

Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register digs into the underperforming Dodgers bullpen, including relevant quotes from Andrew Friedman and Brandon Gomes.

Nick Robertson talked about his major league debut with Mark Berman of The Roanoke Times. “The biggest thing is having everybody that has helped me get to this point come to the game and see me pitch,” Robertson said. “When I got to the mound, I could hear all my family yelling for me.”

The latest episode of the Three-Inning Save podcast discussed the Dodgers pitching woes and the bumpy road ahead.