Dodgers News: Julio Urias Headed For Bullpen Once More
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers promoted Julio Urias in May the expectation was he’d make his Major League debut and quickly return to Triple-A Oklahoma City. That’s what unfolded, though Urias was recalled for a second start five days after his first.

He’s shuttled to and from Oklahoma City on multiple occasions this season, and in and out of the Dodgers’ rotation with essentially the same frequency. The club has an unspecified innings limit on their prized left-hander.

Urias’ start on Tuesday night against the New York Yankees was his fourth consecutive. He’s largely been a on a start-by-start basis.

But the Dodgers appear to have again reached an ending point for Urias’ time in the rotation. According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Urias is bound for the bullpen:

“With Julio, we’ve tried to be cognizant all year long of his usage and innings and there’s really no hard number (as a cap). But I think to get the best usage for us this year, it’s to put him in the ’pen after this start and let him get acclimated to that.

“For us to expect him to potentially get the opportunity to pitch in the postseason, then it makes no sense for us not to prepare him.”

There has long been talk of Urias potentially helping out of the bullpen come the postseason. At the end of last month Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he didn’t anticipate Urias remaining in the rotation to close out the season.

Of Urias’ 16 games with the Dodgers this season, 14 have been starts; he’s 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in limited action as a reliever. Urias went 1-0, allowed two earned runs and had five strikeouts in four innings pitched across three relief appearances for Oklahoma City.

With the Dodgers and OKC, Urias has thrown a combined 117 innings, which long shattered the 80.1 innings he pitched last season.

In moving the young lefty to the bullpen, the Dodgers have Jose De Leon, Bud Norris, Brock Stewart and Ross Stripling among the options to fill out the rotation. Brett Anderson, who is scheduled for a rehab start on Friday, and Brandon McCarthy, may also be solutions.