Since signing Julio Urias out of Mexico, the Los Angeles Dodgers have carefully ushered along their prized lefty over his young professional career. He threw just 54.1 innings in 2013 for Low-A Great Lakes, then 87.2 innings with High-A Rancho Cucamonga the following season.
Urias was expected to take a significant step forward in building his innings base last season, but elective cosmetic surgery on his left eye to remove a benign mass sidelined him for one month.
Including rehab starts last season, Urias threw 80.1 innings over 18 games. He joined the Dodgers in big league camp a second consecutive year as a non-roster invitee, but had his 2016 Cactus League debut slightly delayed due to a groin strain.
Urias’ took the mound March 12 and struck out the side in his first action. However, he remained in the game for a second inning of work and was chased.
With the Dodgers searching for some stability in the bullpen, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said thought has been given to calling up Urias from Triple-A Oklahoma City, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
The Dodgers have had internal discussions about calling up top prospect Julio Urias to help their beleaguered bullpen, Manager Dave Roberts said Saturday.
“We’re looking through a lot of options,” Roberts said. “Urias is definitely at the top of the list.”
Roberts added Urias is receiving more consideration than fellow Oklahoma City teammates Jharel Cotton and Jose De Leon:
Roberts said the Dodgers also have considered calling up right-handers Jose De Leon and Jharel Cotton from Oklahoma City but said Urias is “leading [the] discussions.”
Urias dazzled with six no-hit innings in his last Triple-A start, facing the minimum 18 batters. He lost a perfect game in the fifth on an error on shortstop Zach Walters; Urias later picked off the runner to end the inning.
Urias is 3-1 this season in five games (four starts) with Oklahoma City, with an impressive 1.88 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. What’s more, he’s totaled 29 strikeouts to just three walks over 24 innings pitched.