After Julio Urias returned from shoulder surgery last season and successfully filled an unexpected role out of the bullpen during the postseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers made it clear their young left-hander was viewed as a starting pitcher.
But with that, Urias faced an innings limit in 2019 and wasn’t considered a candidate to begin the regular season on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. Not only did that change, but injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill forced Urias into the starting rotation.
He’s since been placed in the bullpen but recently faced more pressing matters amid an alleged domestic battery incident. Urias was arrested, released on bail and the subject of an MLB and criminal investigation.
Urias was placed on a seven-day administrative leave by MLB but reinstated at the conclusion of it. He struggled upon returning but refuted the notion that his personal matter was impacting on-field results, perBill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Every time I go out there, I just try to do my job and try to give everything I can and sometimes I just miss pitches.”
“I think I’ve had challenges in the past,” Urias said. “I pitched against Christian Yelich in the playoffs. I pitched against Atlanta. Some situations are tough but you have to know how to pitch in those tough situations.”
Urias went 2-2- with two saves and a 3.18 ERA in nine games (four starts) prior to being put on administrative leave. He’d held opponents to a .204/.283/.324 batting line and allowed just two home runs over 28.2 innings pitched.
Uris tossed two scoreless innings in his first game back, but then allowed two runs in each of his next two appearances. Included in that was surrendering a combined three home runs in games against the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.
However, those two efforts were then followed by Urias complete two scoreless innings over his last two appearances. Both of which came days after the L.A. prosecutors office announced they would not press charges against Urias.
MLB has not formally announced a close to their investigation, but the sense is the 22-year-old will avoid punishment from commissioner Rob Manfred, barring the discovery of new evidence.