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Dodgers RHP Bobby Miller struggles in the rehab start of the 4th minor league

Right-hander Bobby Miller’s fourth minor league rehab start on Thursday for Triple-A Oklahoma City was his longest yet, but he was all over the place in his final two innings. Miller allowed five runs and was pulled after 93 pitches in 4⅔ innings.

Whether this could possibly be Miller’s last hurdle before rejoining the Dodgers rotation. It’s too simplistic to say that results don’t matter, but usually when starting rehab it’s more about stretching out, getting game reps, and fine-tuning. So how Miller feels after Thursday could be more telling.

But the results weren’t great.

He lost steam in the fourth and fifth innings, walking all three and allowing a total of five runs in those two innings. He needed 28 pitches to get through the fourth inning, and another 27 to get two outs in the fifth, after just 38 pitches in his first three scoreless frames.

Miller stumbled at first base in the third inning after one of his nine groundouts suffered that night, and appeared to favor his right ankle, albeit briefly. There was no trainer visit and Miller finished the inning without incident.

Miller averaged 90 mph on his four-seam fastball and 90.5 mph on his two-seamer, both about a tick less than his three starts in the majors this season but will remain within the norm. He maxed out at 90.8 mph, hitting 60 mph in the fifth inning. Miller struck out four that night.

Thursday was Miller’s second start with Oklahoma City. On June 7 against Round Rock, he threw 85 pitches in four-plus innings, allowing singles to both batters facing each other in the fifth inning before being pulled.

Here are thoughts from Alex Freedman, who called the game for Oklahoma City:

Miller has been off the injured list for more than two months due to right shoulder inflammation. In four minor league rehab starts – two each with Oklahoma City and Low-A Rancho Cucamonga – Miller had a 7.80 ERA with 10 strikeouts and eight walks in 15 innings.

He pitched in the fifth inning in each of his last two rehab starts.

Like Walker Buehler earlier this season, each consecutive minor league rehab start for Miller has consisted of five days of rest. If he were to stick to that schedule, Miller could rejoin the Dodgers rotation next Wednesday against the Rockies at Coors Field. That timing of the Dodgers’ bullpen game, which also takes place next Thursday, was not coincidental, as the team is playing 12 consecutive games in a row.

The bullpen game against the Rangers gave the rest of the staff extra rest, and Miller pitching next Wednesday – if that is indeed the case – would do the same, and no Dodgers pitcher would go on four days during this two-week period start rest. .

Only five times during the season did a Dodgers starting pitcher start on four days’ rest: Miller on April 10, Gavin Stone on May 8 and June 2, James Paxton on May 29 and Tyler Glasnow on June 9.

If Miller does indeed start next Wednesday in Denver, it will be 10 weeks after his last Major League start.

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