The Los Angeles Dodgers improved to 9-6-1 in Cactus League play on Sunday afternoon, defeating the division-rival Colorado Rockies, 3-1, behind an outstanding performance from the pitching staff.
Young left-hander Julio Urias got the start on the mound for Los Angeles and continued his strong showing this spring, allowing no hits or runs in three innings while striking out two and walking one.
Urias’ velocity touched 97 mph, which is definitely a positive sign for a pitcher in his first full year back from shoulder surgery.
One person who had a close look at what Urias was able to do on Sunday was his catcher, Russell Martin, and the veteran was impressed with what he saw, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“He executes pitches,” said Martin. “He stays in his mechanics. Young pitchers tend to be a little bit more erratic, he’s just got great mechanics and he trusts his delivery and repeats his delivery. He’s not afraid to throw strike one, with the fastball or breaking ball. He just seems he’s a perfectionist and wants to keep getting better. He’s one of those kids with the combination of talent but also the attitude of a guy not scared and will never be scared. It’s a good combination.”
Urias has now thrown six innings across three starts so far this spring, allowing just one hit and one run (1.50 ERA) while striking out six and walking one.
The plan is for Urias to be on an innings restriction this season to protect that shoulder, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said earlier in the spring that he would not rule out Urias being in the starting rotation to begin the season.
Considering both Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler are now expected to be ready by Opening Day though, it is unlikely that Urias cracks the rotation on Opening Day.
If the Dodgers want to have him under no restrictions during the second half of the season and potential pennant race, then he will likely begin the year at extended Spring Training or Triple-A Oklahoma City to help limit his innings.