The 2020 season marked Julio Urias’ first with the Los Angeles Dodgers that have him on an innings limit. He opened the year in the starting rotation but wound up playing a pivotal role out of the bullpen down the stretch.
All but one of Urias’ 11 regular-season appearances came in the form of starts. He went 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA, 3.72 FIP and 1.15 WHIP in 55 innings pitched, striking out 45 batters against 18 walks.
While those numbers were solid in their own right, Urias would elevate his game come playoff time. He did not allow a run in either of his appearances against the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres, establishing himself as a valuable multi-inning reliever.
However, Urias also proved capable of being an effective starter, which was evident in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. He limited the Atlanta Braves to just one run and three hits over five innings of work, helping the Dodgers pick up their first win of the series.
Urias made one more appearance in the series, logging three perfect innings to close out the Braves in Game 7. He followed a similar script in the World Series, starting against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 before returning for one final relief appearance in the deciding Game 6.
In six total playoff appearances (two starts) during October, Urias went a perfect 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA and 0.65 WHIP across 23 innings. He allowed just three runs, struck out an impressive 29 batters and issued only four walks.
Needing seven outs to capture their first World Series title since 1988, the Dodgers turned to Urias to close the door on the Rays in Game 6.
The left-hander was in the midst of a magnificent postseason that saw him thrive as both a starter and reliever. He continued his dominance, tossing 2.1 perfect innings to help the Dodgers get past the finish line.
After a dominant postseason, the Dodgers are said to be deliberating whether to keep Urias in the bullpen next year or move him back to the starting rotation.
As it currently stands, the Dodgers have plenty of options to choose from to fill out their starting rotation, while the relief corps could use some reinforcements, especially with Pedro Baez and Blake Treinen reaching free agency.
With more starters than spots to fill, the Dodgers could ultimately decide to keep Urias in the bullpen next season, or at the very least, use him in multiple roles as they did throughout the playoffs.
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