Bobby Miller has impressed since being called up to the big leagues. The Dodgers' No. 2 overall prospect and top pitching prospect followed up his strong MLB debut with an even better second start of his big league career Monday. Miller's Dodgers teammates are already taking notice of his prowess on the mound. However, his big league future seems to be in question after each start.
Dave Roberts has had to announce after each outing whether or not Miller will remain in the rotation for another start. Roberts did say that Miller will get at least one more start versus the New York Yankees on Sunday, per Dodgers Insider on Twitter. However, there is an argument to be made that Bobby Miller deserves a full-time spot in this rotation.
Let's take a look at three reasons why Miller must remain in the pitching rotation.
Bobby Miller is clearly ready
There are other factors as to why he should remain in the rotation, but we will start by looking at his individual performance. He's allowed just two earned runs through his first two outings, totaling 11 innings in that span. Miller's also struck out nine hitters and walked just two so far in his career.
There was initial concern about Miller ahead of his MLB debut. Despite his clear potential, he'd struggled in the minor leagues during the 2023 campaign and had previously battled injuries. Miller owned a 5.65 ERA across four games, walking six hitters and striking out just 12 across those 2023 minor league outings.
Perhaps Miller simply lacked motivation in the minor leagues. He's been a completely different pitcher with the Dodgers.
Miller is clearly ready, but Sunday's game versus the Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball will be a true test without question.
Dodgers' pitching rotation uncertainty
Do the Dodgers feature depth? Yes. Pitchers such as Gavin Stone and Michael Grove could earn spots on the pitching staff. But is there truly a good argument to be made for any other young pitcher than Bobby Miller earning the nod?
Ryan Pepiot is another pitcher who will draw consideration once he returns from injury. But Miller features the highest ceiling and as we already established, is clearly ready for the big leagues.
The Dodgers' only reliable and healthy arms in the rotation right now are Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin. However, even when Julio Urias and Dustin May return, Miller should be the top candidate to join them on the pitching staff.
Noah Syndergaard is obviously a candidate as well, but his performance has been underwhelming to say the least.
Noah Syndergaard replacement?
Noah Syndergaard can still turn his season around. It's probably too early to give up on him. Keeping Bobby Miller and Syndergaard in the rotation right now makes sense. But with Syndergaard currently sporting a 6.27 ERA after 10 starts in 2023, he must show some sign of promise as soon as possible.
Otherwise, Miller could realistically be his replacement once Dodgers pitchers begin returning from injury.
Syndergaard may emerge as a trade candidate. Given his struggles though, there likely wouldn't be much of a trade market for him. In the end, Los Angeles may have to designate him for assignment if he doesn't find his footing soon.
For now, Syndergaard should receive a few more chances to redeem himself. But there's no reason why he should hold a spot over Miller once the rotation becomes full again.