For all of the relief that came with winning Sunday’s 17-inning game, the Los Angeles Dodgers still enter Tuesday a pedestrian 23-23, and 4.5 games back of the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West.
It’s a position the Dodgers have become all too familiar with during the May, spending much of the month at or near the .500 mark. A three-game winning streak from May 12-14 left the Dodgers 20-17, but they’ve regressed since that point.
Reasons for the Dodgers’ struggles are wide-ranging, but their bullpen has drawn the majority of blame; multiple times undeservedly so. As a result, the outcry for Julio Urias has grown louder by the day.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said earlier this month the club held discussions centered around calling up Urias. How serious the talks were is unknown.
More recently, Roberts said he has not asked for the young left-hander to be promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“Everyone knows what he’s doing and what he can do,” said Roberts. “To his credit he continues to excel and dominate at Triple-A. Our guys, in terms of the farm system, it’s kind of belaboring for me to ask for it. They know what he brings and what kind of an asset he is.”
Urias currently owns a streak of 27 consecutive scoreless innings. He’s 4-1 with eight walks and 44 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched over eight games (seven starts). Urias leads the Pacific Coast League with a 1.10 ERA and 0.78 WHIP.
Conventional wisdom has the 19 year old aiding the Dodgers out of the bullpen if and when he receives the call to make his Major League debut. Assuming that to be true, Urias hopes to gain more experience as a reliever while still in the Minors.
His next scheduled start is Thursday, in the finale of a four-game road series against the Fresno Grizzlies (Houston Astros affiliate).