Dodgers News: Rick Honeycutt Wants Julio Urias To Focus On Basics
Jae C. Hong-AP Photo

The Los Angeles Dodgers piqued the interest across Major League Baseball with their decision to call up top pitching prospect Julio Urias for his big league debut against the reigning National League champion New York Mets at Citi Field on May 27.

He labored through 2.2 innings, enduring the growing pains that are to be expected with a rookie pitch, especially one who is all of 19 years old. Urias was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City the following day, but rejoined the Dodgers rotation three days later with Alex Wood landing on the disabled list.

Urias drew yet another challenge in his second career Major League start as he faced the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in front of a raucous afternoon crowd in the four-game series finale. Urias showed better command, but was tagged for six runs (five earned) on eight hits, three of which were home runs, over five innings of work.

While there was some initial uncertainty, Urias remained with the club and takes the mound Tuesday night for his Dodger Stadium debut. How long he’ll remain in the rotation after the game isn’t known.

With his talent not in question, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, who has been with the Dodgers for 11 seasons, wants Urias to focus on his pitches, according to ESPN’s Doug Padilla:

“I think his mentality and makeup are definitely there to be a great pitcher, and now it just becomes a situation to get over that first hurdle of being out there competing at this level against guys he hasn’t seen before. It’s executing his pitches and not worrying about the outcome as much as just making quality pitches.”

Although the Colorado Rockies aren’t of the same class as the Cubs and Mets, sluggers Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado figure to provide an interesting challenge for Urias. The young left-hander to this point has welcomed everything that’s been placed on his shoulders and is and is eager to prove he belongs in the Majors.

Assuming Urias returns to Oklahoma City at some point this season, he’ll look to build on a streak of 27 consecutive scoreless innings he’s temporarily put on hold.