Dodgers right-hander Shelby Miller struck out three in a scoreless inning on Saturday afternoon in the Arizona Complex League, starting a minor league rehab assignment.
Miller has been on the injured list since June 21 with neck pain. On Saturday against the Rockies at Camelback Ranch, the veteran right-hander allowed only a two-out single and stolen base in his outing, Miller’s first game since June 15. The final strikeout of the inning for Miller was third baseman Kyle Karros, son of Eric and brother of Dodgers minor leaguer Jared, drafted by the Rockies this year in the fifth round out of UCLA.
In San Diego, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts provided more detail on Miller’s injury.
Also, Shelby Miller (neck) is starting a rehab assignment in AZ Complex League— Jack Harris (@ByJackHarris) August 5, 2023
Roberts said Miller had been dealing with some "nerve stuff" that "went from his neck to his fingers, where he just didn’t have feeling in his fingers."
The issue is gone now. His timeline is TBD.
Because Miller is on the 60-day injured list, the earliest he could possibly be activated is August 20.
Player of the day
Wilman Diaz continued to hit since getting promoted to Low-A Rancho Cucamonga. The 19-year-old infielder, playing shortstop and batting leadoff on Saturday, homered, tripled, singled twice, and scored two runs.
In 15 games with Rancho Cucamonga, Diaz has a 40.3-percent strikeout rate but has done damage when he’s connected, hitting .386 with a 1.103 OPS and eight extra-base hits.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Kyle Hurt and struck out six in five innings in his Triple-A debut, but got burned by a two-out rally and grand slam in Oklahoma City’s loss to the Round Rock Express (Rangers).
In the sixth inning, Hurt’s second, the right-hander got the first two outs of the frame but then a walk, double, and walk loaded the bases. Left fielder Sandro Fabian took Hurt deep to left field for a grand slam, providing the only runs of the game for Round Rock. It’s just the eighth home run of the season given up by Hurt.
Hurt followed Landon Knack, who pitched four scoreless innings, struck out three, and walked none. It was the fourth time in the last five starts without allowing an earned run for Knack, who lowered his ERA to 3.00 in seven starts since getting promoted to Triple-A.
Knack got some assistance in the second inning with a tremendous catch at the left field wall by Bryson Brigman, a career infielder who was playing just his 17th career game in the outfield, all coming this year.
BRYSON BRIGMAN...HOLY CATCH! pic.twitter.com/Xhcw40u5Wr— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) August 6, 2023
Down three in the ninth, Oklahoma City rallied for two runs and had Brigman at third base with one out. But Pat Valaika struck out, and Michael Busch’s drive to left field was tracked down by Fabian on a fine running catch to end the game.
A six-run fifth inning fueled the Drillers’ road loss to the Wichita Wind Surge (Twins). Reliever Carlo Reyes, a minor league Rule 5 Draft pick from the Phillies in December, allowed a pair of home runs in the fateful frame, recording only two outs while allowing all six runs.
That fifth inning erased a 3-1 Tulsa lead, and overshadowed a strong Double-A debut by Kendall Williams. The right-hander struck out seven in his four innings, working around three walks and three hits. The only run against Williams was a solo home run in the first inning.
Tulsa got solo home runs by Diego Cartaya and Yusniel Díaz, and Díaz also doubled in a three-RBI night.
Austin Gauthier doubled, singled, and walked twice scoring two runs from the leadoff spot. He’s 8-for-14 (.571) in the first five games of this series with a .640 on-base percentage. Gauthier leads the Drillers in batting average (.288), on-base percentage (.413), slugging percentage (.475), and OPS (.888), with a minimum of 150 plate appearances. The only two Tulsa players with better numbers were the since-promoted Jonny DeLuca and Andy Pages, with 105 fewer PA than Gauthier, who joined the Drillers on May 29.
Wichita stole eight bases in eight attempts in this game, three against Williams, two each against Tanner Dodson and Kevin Gowdy, and one off Reyes.
Center fielder Jose Ramos injured himself on a throw to home plate in the first inning, and had to leave the game.
High-A Great Lakes
Peter Heubeck’s High-A debut was about as bad as one could imagine, failing to retire any of his seven batters faced in the Loons’ blowout loss to the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres).
The 21-year-old right-hander, drafted by the Dodgers in the third-round in 2021, alternated between walks and hits to his first six batters to allow the first four runs. Then a three-run home run ended Heubeck’s night after 30 pitches, only 12 for strikes.
Great Lakes only scored once in this one. Yeiner Fernandez walked and Dalton Rushing was hit by a pitch to open the third inning, then two outs brought Fernandez home.
After a 30-minute rain delay, the game was called after five innings. A mercy killing.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Six runs in the second inning was too much for the Quakes to overcome in a loss to the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies).
Jared Karros is going through the first extended slump in his first professional season. He allowed a season-worst eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits in his three innings on Saturday. Through July 4, Karros had a 2.35 ERA, allowing 17 runs (12 earned) on 30 hits in 46 innings. After a two-week break, Karros has allowed 20 runs (18 earned) on 24 hits in 9⅔ innings in his last four starts.
Triple-A: Pitcher Mark Washington was placed on the 7-day injured list, retroactive to Friday.
Arizona Complex League: Shelby Miller began a minor league rehab assignment.
Trade: On Friday, the Dodgers traded former international pitcher signees Aldrin Batista (20-year-old from Dominican Republic, was just promoted to Rancho Cucamonga Thursday) and Maximo Martinez (19-year-old from Venezuela, in Arizona Complex League) to the White Sox for international slot money. Per the collective bargaining agreement, international bonus slot money can be traded in $250,000 increments and can only be traded for the current international signing period. It’s unclear how much slot money was sent the Dodgers’ way, but as of May in Ben Badler’s review at Baseball America, the White Sox had “more than $1 million” remaining to spend.
At Dodgers Digest, Josh Thomas speculated the Dodgers might use whatever money they are getting from the White Sox to sign Jang Hyun-Seok, a right-handed pitcher out of South Korea. The 2023 international signing period ends on December 15.
- Round Rock 4, Oklahoma City 3
- Wichita 9, Tulsa 5
- Fort Wayne 10, Great Lakes 1 (5 innings)
- Fresno 10, Rancho Cucamonga 5
- 10:05 a.m. PT: Great Lakes (Jerming Rosario) at Fort Wayne (Bodi Rascon)
- 11:05 a.m.: Tulsa (Ben Casparius) at Wichita (Chad Donato)
- 4:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Ryan Pepiot) vs. Round Rock (Cody Bradford)
- 5:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Chris Campos) at Fresno (Jake Madden)