Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced that Julio Urias is slated to make his 2017 debut on Monday with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He’s expected to throw three or four innings in his first start of the season, facing the Iowa Cubs.
While Urias was left in extended Spring Training when the Dodgers broke camp, he was optioned to High-A Rancho Cucamonga prior to the Minor League season beginning Thursday. Roberts previously explained that was nothing more than a paper move, and reiterated the 20-year-old would debut with OKC.
Urias slots fifth into the affiliate’s rotation. Trevor Oaks received the nod on Opening Day, and he’s expected to be followed by Wilmer Font, Fabio Castillo and Jair Jurrjens in the ensuing games leading up to Monday.
Urias went 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched across 11 games (seven starts) for Oklahoma City last season. He strung together a scoreless streak of 28 innings in seven appearances, which spanned across 10 weeks as a stint with the Dodgers was sandwiched in between.
The Dodgers again have an innings limit in place on their treasured left-hander. Including the postseason, Urias set a career high last season with 127.2 innings pitched. Los Angeles intends to have him in their rotation down the stretch of the regular season and into a potential playoff series.
That presumably will translate to Urias pitching on some sort of a regular schedule while in the Minors or extended Spring Training, but with outings closely monitored and cut short, if necessary.