Due to reoccurring injuries sustained to the rotation thus far into the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been forced to call upon unexpected arms in their farm system which is rich with young pitchers.
This season alone has already seen the debuts of promising starters such as Ross Stripling, Brock Stewart, and Julio Urias. Stripling, who was named the fifth starter after Mike Bolsinger went down with a strained oblique in Spring Training, showed potential in his brief stint with Los Angeles as he went 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.358 WHIP in 45.2 innings.
However, an innings limit and needing to be replaced in the rotation days after an emergency relief appearance resulted in Stripling being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Stewart was used as a spot-starter on June 30 against the Milwaukee Brewers and endured a peculiar outing. He allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings, but also had seven strikeouts.
Urias has had the most staying power, albeit in large part out of necessity. He rejoined the Dodgers on Thursday to face the Washington Nationals in what was just his ninth Major League start.
The 19-year-old lefty returned from Oklahoma City a mere 16 days after being optioned to the Minors so the club could further scale back his workload. Urias acknowledged there’s been difficulty with the situation but is focused on capitalizing on his opportunities as they come, via Andy McCullough of the LA Times:
“It is a little hard,” Urias said through an interpreter. “But when you get the opportunity, you have to make the best of it. Going up and down can be hard, but you have to take advantage of the situation.”
Before being sent down following a start in which he got roughed up by the Baltimore Orioles on July 4, Urias compiled a 1-2 record with a 4.95 ERA, 1.54 WHIP and 44 strikeouts.
Urias did his part to hold the first-place Nationals at bay as he went four innings while allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts in a 6-3 victory. Out of his nine starts, Urias has faced only three teams with a sub-.500 record.
His time with the Dodgers was brief, as the club optioned Urias to Oklahoma City on Friday and recalled Austin Barnes.