Once a prospect on the rise in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Julio Urias had his career interrupted by shoulder surgery in June 2017. He didn’t return to the mound until the following July and the Dodgers kept him on a modest workload.
Urias remained on an innings limit last season but now appears poised to take a step forward as a full-time member of the starting rotation. “Short of something happening and changing this, I think we can put in pen Kenta and Julio,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said at Dodgers FanFest.
“Julio has gotten to the point now where innings-wise, he is where Buehler was going into 2018. He has put himself in position to get that opportunity.”
Of course, since Friedman’s remarks the Dodgers acquired David Price and Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox, and traded with the Minnesota Twins for Brusdar Graterol. Meanwhile, their trade with the L.A. Angels fell through amid frustration from owner Arte Moreno over the delay.
So Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling remain part of the Dodgers organization, with the latter potentially having an impact on Urias’ outlook. Nevertheless, Urias figures to face some competition for the remaining two spots in the rotation.
Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Jimmy Nelson, Stripling and Alex Wood are also part of the equation. But Friedman publicly stating Urias is in position to log significant innings is encouraging for the young lefty.
Urias has yet to settle into a defined role, and started just eight of his 37 games last season.
Although Urias has made it clear his preference is to be a starter, he also continues to voice a willingness to pitch in any capacity that best suits the team.
If Walker Buehler’s 2018 season is to be used as a benchmark, Urias should be near 150 innings and still be available for the postseason.
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