The Los Angeles Dodgers were hoping to get Walker Buehler back in time for the playoffs to provide them with another hard-throwing right-hander, but that possibility was ruled out amid an announcement his focus was on getting healthy for 2024.
It created another challenge for a Dodgers rotation that has been decimated by injuries, struggles, and the arrest of Julio Urías. Instead, the Dodgers will rely on rookie Bobby Miller to pitch atop their rotation come October.
Miller has often gained comparisons to Buehler for his fiery demeanor, electric stuff, bulldog mentality, and even the style of pants he wears.
“He’s twice my size,” Buehler quipped, before going on to praise Miller. “I like his pants a lot. Not a big fan of the university he went to, but there’s a lot to like. He’s a special kid.
“Handled the success he’s had really well, and listening to him talk after the bad ones is kind of the big thing. I know you guys talked about it my rookie year, there’s going to be that arrogant confidence.
“You have to be able to handle the bad ones, and I think he’s done that really well. It’s something for me personally that has always been important. Cool to see him handle it the right way as well.”
Along with Miller, the Dodgers also expect to receive important innings from Ryan Pepiot and Emmet Sheen in the postseason. While it’s a gamble to rely on so many young starters in the playoffs, Buehler believes they’ll be able to handle it.
“I think this year is interesting in that it hasn’t been the traditional five guys lined up and go,” he said. “We’ve had to mix and match, and had to rely on those guys a lot. They’ve done a really good job.
“Outside of us having some fake playoff games they’d get to go practice in, they’re as ready as they’re going to be. Obviously, we’re going to need them, and I look forward to watch them.”
The Dodgers also have Clayton Kershaw and Lance Lynn as the veterans in their rotation, but the longtime is dealing with a shoulder injury and right-hander has been inconsistent in his time with L.A.
It appears the Dodgers will end up going with multiple bullpen games in the postseason, but it may ultimately depend on how their starters finish out the regular season.
Bobby Miller benefiting from controlling emotions
Miller was rushed into making his MLB debut this season, but the 24-year-old has found continued growth and maturation with controlling his emotions when on the mound.
“Just not get too high when things are going good. Just try to hold my energy and stay composed out there. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low,” Miller recently explained.
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