Still working his way back toward joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, Julio Urias is scheduled to pitch for High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday. The affiliate did not reveal if Urias will start or enter out of the bullpen.
Urias formally began his rehab assignment last week with the Arizona League Dodgers. He allowed one hit and collected four strikeouts over 1.2 shutout innings in the start.
The Dodgers have made it clear they intend to utilize the young left-hander as a reliever this season and for potential playoff series. Urias is being stretched out to throw as many as three innings per appearance.
He’s working to return from last June’s season-ending shoulder surgery. The Dodgers initially projected the recovery would take 12 to 14 months. Urias didn’t resume throwing until February, and wasn’t off a mound until the middle of May.
Nonetheless, there remained optimism he could return by the end of July. That came and went, and with the season slipping further into the calendar, the Dodgers made the decision to pivot with the strategy of not building up Urias as a starter.
At this point, it may be likely that Urias isn’t activated off the 60-day disabled list until rosters expand on Sept. 1.
Despite that, manager Dave Roberts is confident and excited by the possibility of the 21-year-old providing a boost to the Dodgers bullpen. It’s a role he filled well during the 2016 postseason.