The Los Angeles Dodgers by all accounts intended to call up Julio Urias for his Major League debut this season. But that it came May 27 on the road against the New York Mets, was not part of the front office’s meticulous planning.
Just as Urias was needed that evening at Citi Field because of injuries, they same circumstances have resulted in the young left-hander bouncing in and out of the rotation on multiple occasions.
Urias was optioned after his debut, but returned to make another start five days later. He remained with the club through July 4.
Urias rejoined the Dodgers to face the Washington Nationals on July 21, was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City the following day, and returned Aug. 3.
His latest stint in the Minors was comprised of a pair of relief appearances. It’s a role the Dodgers have long intended to shift Urias to as he continued to eat away at his innings limit while part of the rotation.
According to Andy McCullough of the LA Times, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman doesn’t envision Urias remaining a starter for much longer:
“It would be really difficult for him to start every fifth day through October,” Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, said before Tuesday’s rainout at Coors Field. “It’s something that we’re assessing. We have a good feel for that range, and a lot of it will have to do with how well he’s maintaining his stuff.”
The 20-year-old is being handed the ball in Friday’s series opener against the San Diego Padres. Including time with Oklahoma City, Urias has thrown 108 innings this season. He logged 80.1 innings in 2015.
After growing pains earlier this season, Urias has found his footing this month, particularly in his past two starts. He tossed a combined 12 innings against the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs, amassing 14 strikeouts to two walks, and allowing just one run.
Urias prefaced the pair of starts with 2.2 shutout frames out of the bullpen against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Over five August games (three starts), he’s 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA and 22 strikeouts across 22.2 innings.