Julio Urias crossed off one goal on May 27 when he took the mound for his Major League debut at Citi Field against the New York Mets. The 19-year-old southpaw was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City the following day, but returned for another start soon after due to Alex Wood’s injury.
Urias’ second career outing also came on the road, and after the game Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the club would discuss whether the organization’s top pitching prospect would remain in the rotation.
Urias was given another opportunity, with the start marking his Dodger Stadium debut. “I felt very happy and like another dream was completed,” he said through an interpreter after throwing four innings against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Urias allowed just one run on three hits and had seven strikeouts. He threw a season-high 86 pitches, which was largely a byproduct of Rockies batters combining to foul off 19 pitches; including 14 over Urias’ final two innings of work.
Roberts did note that’s an area where Urias needs to improve, but was generally pleased with the outing and said the Mexican native will make another start. That was initially expected to take place Monday, but has been changed to Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.
Roberts isn’t concerned by the early road tests in Urias’ career, saying, “I think it’s one of those things where it can work in a different way, in the sense of realizing he hasn’t figured it out yet and can get better. He’s a very confident young man.”
While the Dodgers will eventually take the reins off Urias, he’s not there yet but isn’t discouraged. “Every starter wants to go out and win, but I trust what the team is doing,” he said. Aside from the predetermined pitch count of 90 pitches, Roberts said Urias was further taxed by stressful at-bats.
For his part, Urias was pleased by the command of his pitches. “My fastball, slider and curveball were working for me,” he said. Urias added he’s equally comfortable working with A.J. Ellis and Yasmani Grandal; Grandal has caught two of his three starts.