The Los Angeles Dodgers saw a glimpse of their future in Wednesday’s Cactus League matchup against the Cincinnati Reds, as 2020 MLB Draft picks Bobby Miller and Landon Knack each pitched an inning of relief.
Miller took the mound in the top of the fourth and began his appearance by getting Tyler Stephenson to ground out. After hitting Jonathan India with a pitch, Miller quickly erased him on the basepaths by inducing an inning-ending double play.
“Getting in a big league game, I know adrenaline was going,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Miller’s first outing of the spring. “Really good fastball, breaking ball got a nice double play. Really good. I’m excited to watch him continue to develop.”
As for Knack, he entered the game in the seventh, looking to preserve the Dodgers’ 4-2 lead. He retired his first two batters faced, striking out Cheslor Cuthbert swinging and TJ Friedl looking.
Knack then issued a two-out walk to Dwight Smith before allowing a game-tying home run to Deivy Grullon. The right-hander gave up another hit before the inning was rolled over.
“Really good,” Roberts said of Knack’s 2021 debut. “Got two quick strikeouts, I love the way he attacks hitters and I like his breaking ball. I think he babied that fastball to the catcher and got behind in the count.
“Outside of that, I just love the way he attacks. There’s a lot of swing and miss in there. It was good to see him get his feet wet tonight.”
Roberts excited to see more from Miller, Knack
With the 2020 Minor League Baseball season being cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Miller and Knack did not get to pitch in a professional game.
However, Roberts was impressed by what he saw from them over the offseason and into the early stages of camp. “I didn’t see a whole lot. It was more of word of mouth,” Roberts said. “Saw those guys working out a little bit over the winter, saw some video.
“But I’ve watched every one of their ‘pens this spring, and there’s a lot to like. Knack’s got a good fastball, good breaking ball, the change, can pitch up at the top of the zone.
“And Bobby is just a really good body, he’s a polished pitcher, he’s a starter. He has the pitches and weapons to back that up. I’m really excited about tonight.”
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