It’s been very clear for a few weeks that the Dodgers have been grooming Bobby Miller to be a Game 1 starter, and given the current status of the rotation that chance very well could come this season.
“It’s very realistic where we’re at right now that he’ll start one of the first two games [of the NLDS],” manager Dave Roberts told reporters before Friday’s game in Seattle, per SportsNet LA.
"He's on track to finish strong and have a good postseason for us." Dave Roberts on Bobby Miller and a look ahead at the starters this series. pic.twitter.com/FloV3Inrst— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) September 16, 2023
We’ve come a long way from Roberts very much understating the case back on September 3, saying after Miller beat the Braves with seven strong innings, allowing only one run, “We’re continuing to gather information, but he’s put himself right in the front of the conversation as far as starting a playoff game.”
The Dodgers will see what they have in Clayton Kershaw over the last two-plus weeks beginning on Saturday. Miller, Kershaw, Lance Lynn, and likely Ryan Pepiot are the four most likely to start games in the postseason, but this October will very much be a scramble for the pitching staff.
In his mailbag at The Athletic, Eno Sarris earlier Friday suggested Miller should start Game 1.
“So I go Miller, Kershaw, and then it’s already all hands on deck by Game 3,” Sarris wrote.
But trying to find enough starting pitching in October is hardly a Dodgers problem solely. “Almost every other playoff team will be navigating recently unfamiliar levels of pitching uncertainty.,” writes Chelsea Janes at The Washington Post.
Chris Taylor is the Dodgers nominee for this year’s Roberto Clemente Award. The Dodgers utility man talked about losing his childhood friend Kyle to cancer as the driver to help out wherever he can. Taylor, to Juan Toribio at MLB.com: “My whole career I was really focused on baseball like 100 percent and almost nothing else. Obviously baseball is No. 1 priority and focus, but once I was able to finally establish myself and secure my position a little bit, I felt like playing for the Dodgers and being given the platform, it felt almost like a responsibility to use it and try to make an impact elsewhere.”
Among the group of potential candidates for the now-vacant head of baseball operations position with the Red Sox mentioned by Chad Jennings, Tyler Kepner, and Tim Britton at The Athletic are two Dodgers front office members — general manager Brandon Gomes and senior vice president Josh Byrnes.
It’s been one year since minor leaguers formed a union, and in the collective bargaining agreement that ensued the players earned higher salaries and many other benefits they didn’t have before. Emma Baccellieri at Sports Illustrated talked to a handful of minor league players, including Dodgers Triple-A right-hander Mark Washington, who opined on now getting paid $250 per week in the offseason:
“It’s just the peace of mind,” says the 27-year-old reliever, who spent this season with the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers. “It’s not having to worry about what I’m going to do in the offseason, am I going to be able to make ends meet, all of that… It’s helped a lot, honestly, just mentally. I don’t have to stress as much.”