Well before Julio Urías faced the obstacle of trying to overcome season-ending left shoulder surgery in 2017 to repair a torn anterior capsule, there was the challenge of having a tumor behind his eye.
It required Urías to undergo several surgeries as a young child to keep his left eye open. In May 2015, Urías underwent a peri orbital benign mass removal that caused him to miss one month.
Although Urías has reached his potential as a former top Dodgers prospect, the eye proved to be a target both during his youth and despite becoming one of baseball’s best pitchers.
One such incident Urías shared with Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, was getting mocked by San Diego Padres fans before a start at Petco Park in 2021, which prompted the left-hander to retort about his dominance en route to winning the 2020 World Series:
“I gave it to your team in the playoffs last year and I have a ring,” Julio said. “You guys don’t have anything. And that was with one eye. Imagine if I had two.”
After making 10 starts during the 2020 regular season, Urías final appearance was out of the bullpen. It wound up serving as a bit of a precursor for the playoffs.
The left-hander started just two of six appearances during the postseason. Urías began his October showcase with three scoreless innings out of the bullpen against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series, and next came five innings in relief with just one run allowed in Game 3 of the National League Division Series to help the Dodgers sweep the Padres.
Urías next started in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series, but was back to pitching out of the bullpen for Game 7 against the Atlanta Braves. He then started again before famously earning a save to help the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Urías rode that success to becoming the only 20-game winner in baseball for the 2021 season, and this year he has ascended to having the best ERA in the National League.
Dave Roberts: Julio Urías deserves Cy Young Award consideration
After a seventh-place finish last year, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes Urías is deserving of being in the discussion for the 2022 NL Cy Young Award.
“He should be right there,” Roberts recently said. “Last year, I thought he was slighted as far as not being part of the conversation. This year, he’s back with another really good year. With all the numbers guys look at, with what he’s done this season, it’s worthy of the conversation. No doubt about it.
“I think Julio has been throwing the baseball as well as anybody in baseball since the (All-Star) break. Or even before the break, actually. I certainly don’t have a vote, but it’s hard to ignore what this guy does for a championship-caliber ballclub.
“He wasn’t an All-Star this year for some ridiculous reason, so to be able to be in that Cy Young conversation, I think that’s the floor.”
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