Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Anticipates Julio Urias Being Part Of NLDS Roster
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Julio Urias starts Thursday night for the first time since Sept. 2 when he faced the same San Diego Padres, though at home. This comes weeks after the Los Angeles Dodgers said their prized left-hander was relegated to relief duty because of an innings limit.

Since his start in during the first weekend of September, Urias only threw a combined 5.2 innings over two relief appearances. He last pitched Sept. 21, throwing two innings of relief against the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers’ cautious approach and handling of Urias has afforded them luxury of calling on the 20-year-old for a final start prior to the regular season concluding.

“Because we’ve monitored his innings throughout the second half of the season, allowed for us to give him the start,” manager Dave Roberts explained. “From that point on we can decide what makes sense into the postseason.

“There were times that we felt we could have pushed his innings a little more considering where we were at in the rotation, but because we didn’t and had other guys step up, it’s given us this flexibility.”

While Roberts and the team haven’t admitted as much, Urias figures to be in the thick of the conversation for the Dodgers’ fourth starter in the National League Division Series. Jose De Leon is all but eliminated from consideration, while Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy have been saddled by their share of issues.

“When you get into the postseason you have to go with your best,” Roberts said. “Because we’ve been so mindful of his usage, and we obviously do a lot of research and studying for matchups, so if at the end of the day Julio is our best matchup and makes sense, then it’s worth a discussion.”

Roberts reiterated Wednesday the spot start is a byproduct of the organization evaluating Urias’ usage and their available options. The rookie manager also referred to Urias as someone who is likely to be included on the NLDS roster.

“But outside of that, I can’t say how it’s going to end up. As aggressive as it might seem, we’re still being very cautious,” Roberts said. “As we get closer to the postseason, I’ll know exactly how he’s going to be used.”

Entering his start on Thursday, Urias has thrown a career-high 119 innings, which includes time spent with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He’s 5-2 with a 3.53 ERA, 3.22 FIP and 1.47 WHIP in 17 games (14 starts) for the Dodgers.