Dodgers News: Julio Urias Not Phased By Starts Against High-Caliber Teams
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from the challenges that come with pitching in the Majors, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie left-hander Julio Urias has had much more thrown his way than the typical 19 year old.

In his Major League debut, Urias faced the second-place New York Mets in New York. In front of a rowdy Citi Field atmosphere, the lefty struggled with his command and only lasted 2.2 innings while allowing three runs and walking four in a 6-5 loss.

His next start came against the Chicago Cubs. who are separating themselves as the best team in baseball. At Wrigley Field, Urias left mistake pitches up, and paid for it. Urias gave up five runs on eight hits, three of which were home runs, in five innings in a 7-2 loss.

The teenager’s fortunes turned in his next start as he faced the Colorado Rockies in his Dodger Stadium debut.

In a game that Trayce Thompson hit a walk-off home run in the ninth, Urias put together the best start of his young career as he went four strong innings while allowing one run on three hits with seven strikeouts.

However, instead of making his next scheduled start against another sub-.500 team in the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, the Dodgers reversed course and are sending Urias to the bump in the three-game finale at AT&T Park.

Furthering the theme from his first two starts, the Dodgers are throwing Urias into the fire once again as he will face the first-place Giants in a game that will be aired on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball at 5:35 p.m. P.T.

Rather view them as a daunting challenge, Urias believes his starts in hostile environments serve as a learning experience, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

“I’m thankful for the confidence the team has in me,” Urias said through his interpreter. “It doesn’t matter where the outing is. I’m going to go out and do my best.

“Life isn’t easy. Especially in this sport. If you’re not put in these situations, how are you going to learn?”

The Dodgers have carefully managed their highly-touted prospect through his young Minor League career as he’s worked on an innings/pitch limit each season. Although the Dodgers have trusted Urias in high-pressure settings, he’s worked on a pitch count that still remains in place.

Urias has 6.94 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 11.2 innings pitched this season.