Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Considers Julio Urias ‘As Good As There Is’

After a dominant postseason that culminated with recording the final out of the World Series, Julio Urias returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation for the 2021 season.

The left-hander hasn’t missed a beat thus far and continues to impress with each outing. He held the Arizona Diamondbacks to just one run on three hits over 6.2 innings pitched on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

“I was just using my fastball-curveball (slurve) combination,” Urias said of what made him so successful. “I wasn’t really using the changeup. Winning the game is the most important, and we did that.”

As for why he didn’t throw his changeup that much, Urias explained it was part of the strategy going into his start. “It was part of the plan,” he said. “We thought we could use the other pitches. I was comfortable using my other pitches.”

Given that he has been in the league since 2016, some may forget Urias is still just 24 years old. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts no longer views him as a young pitcher, however, and believes he handles himself on the mound as well as any veteran.

“He’s as seasoned as any pitcher around the league,” Roberts said. “He’s pitched in a ton of big spots and fared very well. I don’t really care about age. It’s experience and how he handles big moments.

“He’s as good as there is.”

Roberts: Secondary pitches take Urias to different level

When asked what stands out about Urias, Roberts cited his secondary pitches that he can consistently throw for strikes. “I think with Julio, he’s a lot more efficient with his secondary; whether it’s the changeup or slurve that he throws,” Roberts noted.

“He can strike that to get ahead, to get back into a count, and he’s just not as predictable. I think that being able to command the fastball, be more efficient with the breaking stuff, allows him to go deeper in games and really just helps us as a ballclub.”

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