The Los Angeles Dodgers have made multiple roster cuts in recent weeks, as Opening Day of the 2016 season is just over one week away. Among those sent to Minor League camp at Camelback Ranch were top pitching prospects Jose De Leon and Julio Urias.
For De Leon, a fast riser in the Dodgers’ farm system, it was his first time participating in big league camp. Both he and Urias, talented as they are, struggled in some regarded during Spring Training.
De Leon struck out the side in his Spring Training debut, but endured multiple growing pains in his two appearances that followed. He allowed two runs in two innings pitched against the Oakland Athletics, and three runs to the Chicago White Sox in two innings of work.
While the results weren’t completely positive, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke highly of what he saw from De Leon during his time in camp. “I think that Jose, the work ethic, the adjustments he’s made, I think that it was one of those things where he was excited to be in Major League camp,” Roberts said.
“To be around players and to see the game at this level. It is different, so it was productive for him. To go out there and face Major League hitters, when you don’t execute pitches, I think that we saw the results. So, it was one of those things where you never want guys to get hit around, but as a young pitcher it’s good to understand that there’s some room to grow. But he’s gonna pitch in the big leagues. He’s a great young man and he’s got a nice future ahead of him.”
Like De Leon, Urias also struck out the side in his first inning of work. He battled groin soreness in camp, which forced him to miss a few days of throwing. Urias allowed a combined four runs in three innings over two appearances. Roberts echoed much of what he said about De Leon when discussing about Urias.
“With Julio, it’s a lot of the same. He’s been at camp before, but the way his body has matured, his head, he’s a lot more comfortable from what I hear from people from last year,” Roberts said.
“His bullpens have been good. His work has been good. And those two get along really well. It’s great to see them. But again, I think Julio the same thing is he’s not a finished product. And I think because of his age we want to feel that he’s ready right now, but as you can see, when he made mistakes they were taking advantage of it. His execution wasn’t where it needs to be.”
While the Dodgers fifth starter in the rotation has yet to be decided, neither De Leon nor Urias are in consideration to win that spot out of Spring Training. But, it is plausible they both reach the Majors at some point during the 2016 season.