As the Los Angeles Dodgers were beginning a stretch of 18 games in 18 days, manager Dave Roberts indicated the club was likely to call on a spot starter to provide their rotation with an additional day of rest.
Like most suspected, Julio Urias was identified as the most-likely candidate to make the start. The likelihood that the Dodgers would look to someone outside their rotation became more of a reality when Kenta Maeda took a comebacker off his right hand.
Maeda finished the play and initially remained in the game before being removed after five innings. An X-ray was negative but Roberts said Maeda would be given an extra day of rest prior to his next start.
The club additionally has now decided on a date for Urias’ start, as he’ll take the mound Thursday and be piggybacked by Caleb Ferguson against the San Francisco Giants. That pushes Walker Buehler back to the series opener with the Colorado Rockies, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
Julio Urias will start Thursday for #Dodgers. Caleb Ferguson will follow in game. Rest of rotation moves back a day.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 19, 2019
Although the Dodgers did not plan on Urias being part of their Opening Day rotation, injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill made it a necessity. In four starts during April, Urias went 1-1 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.
Overall in 16 games this season, he is 3-2 with three saves, a 3.05 ERA, 4.06 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with 41 strikeouts and 14 walks across 41.1 innings pitched. Urias last pitched on Monday, though was limited to just one inning seemingly in preparation for the forthcoming start.
Prior to that, eight of Urias’ first 11 relief appearances had been multiple innings.
The Dodgers’ first break in the schedule comes Monday, July 1. They will then play six consecutive games at Dodger Stadium prior to heading into the All-Star break.