The Dodgers have treated left hander Julio Urias with kid gloves for the last couple of years now. Certainly it’s understandable. Urias one of the most talented young hurlers in the organization has been on a strict innings limit due to his shoulder surgery that held him out for nearly a year and a half between 2017-2018. Since then the Dodgers have really babied Urias, refusing to start him, petrified that he will blow his arm out.
So in the meantime they’ve pitched Urias out of the bullpen as a long man. They’ve barely used him and Urias has totaled only 62.2 innings pitched this year and made just 6 starts. Despite the sparing usage Urias has been his usual stingy self, posting a 2.59 ERA and striking out 65 against only 21 while posting a 9.3 K/9 rate across 25 appearances.
The Dodgers are finally announcing that in 2020 Urias will be moving back to the starting rotation. It stands to figure that there would be a spot open considering that the club may not bring back Rich Hill, Hyun-jin Ryu, or both. Note that not bringing back Ryu would be pretty dumb, but I digress. Back to Urias’s status….
“We project him to be a starter for us next year,” Roberts said, “and many years to come.”
The young southpaw is other worldly talented. He’s been so since his break through in 2016. In that rookie campaign Urias posted a 3.39 ERA across 77.1 innings pitched while striking out 9.8 and posting a 1.99 ERA in the month of August. That was before the unfortunate injury derailed his promising career. But the kid is resilient and resourceful.
He’s come back stronger than ever. For the rest of the 2019 season Urias will be deployed out of the Dodger’s bullpen. He’s the lone solid left handed option for the club amongst a dreadful contingent of relief arms. Urias is expected to provide the Dodgers with seventh and eighth inning support before giving the ball to closer Kenley Jansen. Have the Dodgers babied Urias too much? Do you think the Dodgers have made the right move keeping Urias in the bullpen until next season? At some point they are going to have to take the kid gloves off of him and here’s hoping they do that as soon as possible.