Joe Kelly Happy For Shelby Miller’s Success With Dodgers

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Shelby Miller signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers quickly during the offseason despite multiple years of struggles.

Although a Major League deal early in the offseason for a 32-year-old reliever who had not posted an ERA below 6.40 since 2017 was questionable, it represented the Dodgers’ interest to get Miller into their organization and working with a renowned group of pitching coaches.

Miller only pitched seven innings at the Major League level in 2022, but he showed elite strikeout ability that made him a low-risk, high-upside bet for the Dodgers.

Months later, Miller has developed into one of the few reliable arms in the Dodgers bullpen and Joe Kelly is happy for his friend’s success, via AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio:

“He’s been doing well, man. We came up through the Minors together, we lived together, been friends for a long time now. So when he signed here in the offseason, I said, ‘Man, you’re going to love it. It’s going to be great for you.’ It has worked out so far. Good friends and I’m happy for him that he’s not revamping, but pitching good and found a spot in the bullpen.”

Kelly and Miller spent some time as Minor League teammates and both made their MLB debuts for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2012 season. They remained teammates until Kelly was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 2014, but during that time they developed a close friendship.

Each pitcher eventually found their way to the Dodgers, with Miller signing on for the 2023 season and Kelly pitching for L.A. from 2019-2021.

Miller has thrown 30 innings for the Dodgers this season, posting a 2.40 ERA and striking out 9.30 hitters per nine. His underlying metrics present some concern with 5.40 walks per nine innings, along with a 4.51 FIP and 4.14 expected ERA, but a lot of that was due to Miller’s walk issues.

The right-hander has countered the walks by limiting contact, ranking in the 60th percentile of hard-hit rate. Miller also doesn’t give up many hits to begin with as hitters are batting .120 off him with an expected batting average of .189.

With the struggles of the Dodgers bullpen, Miller should continue to see more high-leverage work and could help fill the bridge to the ninth inning. Miller has one save and two holds this season in 25 appearances.

Shelby Miller embracing Peso Pluma

Miller’s first season with the Dodgers has been accompanied by comparisons to Peso Pluma, and teammates convinced him to use “Ella Baila Sola” as his warmup song.

“(Brusdar) Graterol and Julio (Urías) and bunch of the Latin guys call me Peso Pluma,” Miller recently explained to in an exclusive interview.

“So I ended up choosing that as a walk-out song and knew it would probably be a hit with the crowd. I think it’s a great song. I don’t know exactly what it’s saying, I think it’s something about a girl dancing alone, but I like the vibe of it. I like the flow.”

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