Was Julio Urias really ready to be called up to pitch for the Dodgers this year? It’s a worthy debate, but I think the answer is ABSOLUTELY! Here’s my two cents.
At age 20 Clayton Kershaw came to the majors and pitched 107 innings with a 4.26 ERA. In his age 20 year he pitched 168 total innings between the majors and minors. He allowed more hits than innings pitched and has a 2:1 strikeout/walk ratio. At age 19, he totaled 122 innings.
Julio Urias currently has 101 innings pitched and a 3.95 ERA. He has given up more hits than innings pitched but has struck out more than one an inning, and has almost a 3:1 strikeout/walk ratio. As maddening as Urias’ control and overuse of pitches are, Clayton was a worse…. That went OK though, I would say!
Julio showed what he can do this year and he is getting better as he goes. This year will be an important step in his development, so much so that he might be considered to be a #3 next year. It took guts to bring him up and get the clock ticking now, but it was necessary.
Why have they not called up De Leon? You only need to look at their stats: Urias had a 1.40 ERA at AAA with a 0.867 WHIP. In 45 IP, he gave up 31 Hits and struck out 49 while walking 8 – a 6:1 strikeout/walk ratio. De Leon has been good, but he has a 3.14 ERA with a 1.060 WHIP. 56 Hits in 71 IP and 88 K’s to go with 20 BB – a 4:1 ratio. Urias was awesome at AAA while De Leon was just “very good.”
De Leon gave up 9 HR at AAA, while Urias gave up but 2. De Leon will be called up September 1 and while I believe his upside is a #2, Urias’ upside is that of a #1. The fact of the matter is that Julio simply could not learn anymore in a league where he “toyed” with the hitters during each start. Jose De Leon is still honing his craft at AAA, and could be very good right out of the box for the Dodgers. I look forward to seeing him pitch.
I think Julio will stay in the rotation as the Dodgers monitor him. He pitched 80 innings last year, due to his eye surgery, but I personally don’t think there is much difference between 130 innings and 150 innings. I say “monitor him and let him pitch, while keeping him under 100 pitches per start.”