The Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation was a bit injury-ridden to begin the season with both Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill beginning the year on the 10-day injured list.
Ross Stripling and Julio Urias have filled in admirably for the two veterans, but are set to return to the bullpen when Kershaw and Hill are able to return.
Kershaw recently made his first rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City, and is now scheduled to make a second one of Tuesday with Double-A Tulsa. Kershaw is well ahead of Hill in his recovery, and when he returns, Urias is expected to be the one that gets bumped out of the rotation.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed after Urias’ start on Sunday night against the Colorado Rockies that he will make one more start before moving to the bullpen though, and that would come on Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com
When Kershaw returns to the rotation, Sunday night starter Julio Urias is expected to be sent to the bullpen. Urias, however, will start on Friday against Milwaukee at Dodger Stadium.
Urias looked outstanding in his season debut against the San Francisco Giants but struggled with his command a bit against Colorado. He lasted just 3.2 innings at Coors Field, allowing four hits and three runs while striking out two and walking four. The Dodgers still went on to earn a 12-6 victory.
The reason Urias is being moved to the bullpen has nothing to do with his performance. In his first full season coming off major shoulder surgery, the plan is to limit him to around 70-100 innings in 2019.
To avoid having to shut Urias down in a potential pennant race, shifting to bullpen and letting him pitch a few innings at a time with rest in between each outing is currently the best course of action.