After a dominant 2020 postseason that ended with him recording the final out in Game 6 of the World Series, Julio Urias was inserted back into the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation for the 2021 season.
Pitching for the first time without any limitations, the left-hander got off on a high note by posting a 3-0 record and 3.23 ERA in five starts during the month of April.
Urias was just as effective in May, but endured his worst statistical showing in June when he compiled a 4.85 ERA in five starts.
From that point on Urias turned a corner as he put up a 2.30 ERA in July, a 1.38 ERA in August and a 2.06 ERA in September.
Urias went an overall 20-3 with a 2.96 ERA, 3.13 FIP and 1.02 WHIP across 32 starts in his first full season being a permanent member of the Dodgers’ rotation. He was the Majors’ only 20-game winner last year and logged a career-high 185.2 innings.
After exclusively being used a starter during the regular season, Urias was deployed in a hybrid role in the postseason, making two starts and two relief appearances. He went 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 15 innings pitched, collecting 15 strikeouts against three walks.
Despite the stellar season, Urias did not place among the National League Cy Young Award finalists. He did receive votes, however, and finished in seventh place on the final ballot.
Urias nevertheless was the recipient of the 2021 Warren Spahn Award, which has been presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame since 1999 to the best left-handed pitcher in baseball. The award takes into account wins, ERA and strikeouts.
In addition to receiving votes for Cy Young and being named the Warren Spahn Award winner, Urias was included on the All-MLB Second Team.
Urias’ 2021 highlight
Facing the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on April 20, Urias allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings and collected 11 strikeouts against one walk.
Prior to the MLB lockout beginning, the Dodgers tendered contracts to four players, including Urias. He is projected to earn $8.8 million next season, which represents a $5.2 million raise from last year.
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