Dave Roberts: Young Dodgers Pitchers Showing ‘More Confidence’

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation was plagued by injuries for most of the 2023 season, which led to several rookie pitchers taking on bigger roles than expected.

Bobby Miller ended up making 22 starts and even took the mound in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Meanwhile, the likes of Emmet Sheehan and Gavin Stone found varying degrees of success in different roles.

As the aforementioned pitchers prepare for the 2024 season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has noticed a difference in the way they are handling themselves. “I think that the young pitchers have taken a step forward,” Roberts began.

“Mentally, I think that you can see how they’re carrying themselves now. Even a year ago, watching Stone, Sheehan and Miller around, you can see they’re searching. But I think that right now, there’s a lot more confidence in the way they carry themselves.”

Miller enjoyed the most success of the group last year as he went 11-4 with a 3.76 ERA, 3.51 FIP and 1.10 WHIP in 124.1 innings pitched. The 24-year-old struggled in his first postseason start but can use that as motivation as he enters his second MLB campaign.

Sheehan and Stone battled with inconsistency during their rookie season but should benefit from the experience they gained in 2023.

Miller is on track to be part of the Dodgers’ Opening Day rotation, while Sheehan and Stone will presumably compete for the final spot during Spring Training.

Emmet Sheehan opening season on injured list

The Dodgers will be without one of their young starters to begin the year as Roberts announced Sheehan will begin the season on the injured list.

Sheehan’s buildup in camp was paused last month due to what Roberts initially described as general body soreness. It surfaced after a Sheehan threw a bullpen session that included Shohei Ohtani stepping into the batter’s box to track pitches. Roberts surmised Sheehan may have overexerted himself because of that.

Sheehan’s trouble more recently was deemed right shoulder soreness and just resumed a throwing program. But even with that, he was ruled out from potentially appearing in a Cactus League game.

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