Dodgers News: Prolonged Inconsistency May Put Julio Urias Back With Oklahoma City
Michael Owen Baker-AP Photo

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Julio Urias was with the club for the duration of the regular season when the young left-hander was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City near the end of April. But five starts later, Urias is on shaky ground.

Urias failed to make it out of the third inning against the Miami Marlins on Saturday night. It was a second consecutive start in which he allowed six earned runs; the Marlins scored a seventh, unearned run, off Urias.

Some well-placed balls were factor, but the primary culprit remained his shaky command. “Julio obviously just didn’t come in sharp,” Roberts said following his club’s loss.

“He didn’t have command of any of his pitches, got behind and really didn’t have a chance to get anything going. It happened pretty quickly in the first and second innings, and he couldn’t get through the third.”

Urias fought similar trouble in his first three starts; he walked four batters in two of the games. Though, he pitched to a 1.06 ERA and held opponents to a .164/.292/.200 batting line before getting roughed up by the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

“The walk-to-strikeout hasn’t been consistent enough,” Roberts said. “You have to get ahead of hitters to give yourself a chance to be efficient and go deeper in games. I’m not sure if it’s mechanical or what it is.”

Urias has walked 14 batters compared to 11 strikeouts over 23.1 innings. He’s incorporated keeping his hands above his head with the hope it will improve balance and the ability to repeat a delivery.

Whereas Roberts wasn’t quite certain as to the root of Urias’ troubles, the 20-year-old pointed to getting ahead of hitters. “I just feel like I’m not throwing a first-pitch strike,” Urias said through a translator. “I’m going to focus on that moving forward.”

Where Urias next pitches is uncertain. The Dodgers would benefit from a fresh reliever — specifically a long man — for Sunday’s series finale, and have a roster crunch around the corner with Logan Forsythe and Kenta Maeda both expected to come off the disabled list.

“Anything should be on the table,” answered Roberts when asked if the Dodgers would option Urias to Triple-A Oklahoma City so he could sort through whatever’s plagued him.

“Right now, we’re going to go back and reevaluate his last starts and figure out what’s best for him.”

On the season, Urias is now 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.