Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Expects Julio Urias Will Pitch ‘Meaningful’ Innings During NLCS

This year’s postseason is unique as not only was it expanded to add an extra Wild Card round, but there also aren’t off days in the middle of series until the World Series, which makes it tough on pitching staffs.

One of the teams that are best equipped to deal with this new format is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have five quality starters and one of the deepest bullpens in baseball.

The Dodgers did not need to utilize their pitching depth through sweeping both the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres in the first two rounds.

They now are doing so against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series, which will potentially be seven games in seven days. L.A. announced Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw will start Games 1 and 2, respectively, which was was no surprise.

After that, it was Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin to cover a handful of innings throughout the series. Of course, Kershaw was then scratched from his start due to back spasms.

For Urias in particular, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously said he was not sure if it appearances would come as a starter or bulk reliever.

“He’s going to pitch very meaningful innings,” Roberts said. “It’s great. In theory, on paper, you can look at matchups and say that it could work, but until you really do it, and the player’s mind and experience has to be a factor.

“Julio’s done it, he’s had success in all roles, so it makes us feel more confident. With that said, whatever role we put him in, I know he’s going to be ready.”

Urias was mainly a starter for the Dodgers during the regular season but often struggled in the first inning. That could be one of the reasons he has been utilized as a reliever in both of his postseason appearances so far, where he has been spectacular.

Urias threw three scoreless innings in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series against the Brewers. He then came out of the bullpen in Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Padres and spun five brilliant innings, allowing just one unearned run.

Roberts held off on Game 3 starter

Besides Buehler and Kershaw in the first two games, Roberts was not ready to reveal how the rest of his rotation will shake out.

“I just don’t think it makes sense for us to close optionality in Games 1 and 2 and 3 and 4,” he said prior to the NLCS beginning. “For us, we know (Games) 1 and 2, and I honestly don’t know who (Games) 3, 4 and 5 (starters) are until we need to answer that question.”

In the wake of Kershaw’s back spasms, the Dodgers announced Urias would start Game 3.

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