Dodgers News: Julio Urías More Concerned About Command Than Fastball Velocity

While Julio Urías felt a sense of accomplishment with being the only pitcher to win 20 games last season, he continually emphasized a mindset of needing to focus on helping the Los Angeles Dodgers this year rather than rest on his laurels.

The first step toward that came Sunday against the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers were looking to take the series at Coors Field, but Urías struggled and sloppy defense along with a lack of offensive production led to a 9-4 loss.

Urías threw 57 pitches and failed to record an out in the third inning prior to being replaced by Mitch White. His fastball velocity was 91.4 mph, down from last year’s 94 mph and 94.1 mph career average.

Following the loss, the left-hander noted the impact of weather elements and maintained he’s in good health, via SportsNet LA:

“It was a strange day from the start. With the wind and everything that was going on, it just felt really strange. Physically, I feel great, but a strange day.”

When asked specifically about his fastball velocity being down, Urías again dismissed the notion that health is a factor and emphasized command was more of an issue:

“I feel good. That’s everything I can say about it … It’s about executing pitches. I don’t feel like I executed enough. I could throw 100 miles per hour and the results would’ve been the same because the execution was poor. … The command wasn’t there. Giving up hits with two strikes is something you can’t do. Even with the velocity from last year, just not giving up those hits with two strikes.”

Urías first start of the regular season was an extension of his outing in the exhibition Freeway Series. He also only went two-plus innings and pitched with diminished fastball velocity.

“I’m not concerned about the velo,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said at the time. “I think Julio will be fine. It was down, I don’t know the reason for it, but I think there will be a couple upticks in his start. … He feels strong. It’s not about last year, he had a good winter, he looks good, feels strong. All signs point towards he’ll be fine.”

What’s next for Urías?

With inclement weather in the forecast for the Dodgers’ road series against the Minnesota Twins, it’s possible a game gets canceled and thus the starting rotation would be bumped back. However it unfolds, Urías should at least get one extra day of rest before starting during the homestand.

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