MLB Today: Who Can Beat the Dodgers?
Bobby Miller’s intensity and aggressive approach will stead him well. (Jason Getz|AP)
The Snakes added some sock by signing Joc Pederson; Texas increased its closer competition by bringing in David Robertson; and late bloomer Adrian Beltre heads the 2024 Hall of Fame class.
Dodgers Will Also Grow Organically
But the thing is, it’s not just the talent they’ve acquired this offseason that will drive this club forward; what about the organic growth of talented youngsters like starting pitcher Bobby Miller?
In early August, we wrote about how Miller was proving he can be a winner in the big leagues, and really — notwithstanding a few struggles, he pretty much showed he belonged right after being promoted to the bigs at the end of May.
Given the issues the Dodgers’ rotation was having with injuries (Dustin May and Julio Urias) and ineffectiveness (hello, Noah Syndergaard), they really needed Miller’s contributions, and he didn’t disappoint.
After a rough June (5.27 ERA), Miller just kept getting better (4.64 in July, 3.21 in August and 3.19 in September/October), the kind of quick adjustment from a rookie hurler that really excites you about their future prospects. He just has that look of a future ace (see video below).
The fact that the Dodgers handed him the ball for Game Two of the NLDS speaks volumes about the confidence they’ve developed in this kid.
Miller is poised to take on a bigger role for the club in 2024, and given that his xERA was 3.54 last year, we’re bullish on him taking his game to the next level this season. He’ll likely go off the board towards the end of the seventh round in Fantasy drafts.
Do the Yankees Have Another Play in Mind?
The New York Yankees are +115 to win the AL East as per odds at FanDuel, but the question remains: have they really done enough to overtake the upstart and improving Orioles?
Yes, New York made one of the offseason’s biggest splashes with the Juan Soto trade and then finally made a move to upgrade the rotation by penning Marcus Stroman.
Still, with Spring Training just a few weeks away, chances are that the Yankees have one more trick up their sleeve to justify their status as division faves. Apparently, they are not interested in opening the wallets for a high-priced reliever, but may still opt to bring back Wandy Peralta on a cheaper deal.
But something larger may be in works. Rumours suggest the Yanks may still be in play for outfielder Cody Bellinger and 2023 NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell (you ever seen a current Cy winner struggle to land a deal like this?).
Chances are if it’s one or the other, Snell is probably more likely to wind up in pinstripes.
Shelby Miller Revives Career
The last time we mentioned Shelby Miller it was in reference to Atlanta included him in a trade it clearly won, so it wasn’t exactly favourable.
Still, for a dude that at age 29 was on the Andy Ashby career trajectory as per Baseball-Reference’s similarly scores, Miller made an amazing transition last year into a fine reliever for the Dodgers, going 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA while proving nearly unhittable (19 hits in 42 IP). A neck injury cut into his season, but he was none the worse for wear when he returned at the end of August, flashing much better control once he was healthy again.
The Tigers liked what they saw and inked him to a one-year, $3 million deal (2025 $4.25 million club option) just before Christmas. Miller could pitch in high-leverage situations in Detroit, but may also be employed as a multi-inning weapon.
It was good to see the 2009 first rounder enjoy his best season since 2015; we’ll be very curious to see how he’s used in Detroit as he could provide some sneaky value if he can stay healthy.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
English singer/songwriter/musician/actor David Bowie was among the most important musical figures of the 20th century. Here’s the second single from his 1973 album Aladdin Sane — “Drive-In Saturday,” a top three hit in the U.K.