Three months after the Los Angeles Dodgers placed him on administrative leave amid an ongoing MLB investigation, Julio Urias was suspended 20 games for violating the league’s Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.
Urias missed five games back in May, which leaves him with a 15-game ban to complete the suspension. It stems from Urias being arrested on misdemeanor domestic battery during an incident at the Beverly Center.
The L.A. prosecutors office announced in June they would not press charges against Urias under the conditions that he participate in a City Attorney hearing, commit no acts of violence against anyone, and successfully participate in and complete a 52-week domestic violence counseling program in person, and in a group setting.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred still retained the authority to render punishment on behalf of the league. That it came months after their investigation began surprised Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I had stopped thinking about it, I guess,” Dodgers team president Stan Kasten admitted. “We were not aware there was an ongoing investigation. We were aware they had never come to the end or a formal decision. But what we’ve seen in other cases, they extend that administrative leave, repeatedly in some cases. That wasn’t done here. So I think it was out of my mind.”
Dodgers president Andrew Friedman was similarly caught off guard by the timing of MLB’s ruling:
“I think once things wrapped up on a legal basis in our minds it was (settled) — until just a couple days ago,” Friedman said.
“I think the fact that it was agreed upon with the union and Major League Baseball means that they were looking at the same information and decided based on past precedent with other players,” Friedman said. “In this one, I think they came together and decided this was the best course of action. I’m not sure why it took this long.”
It’s unclear if additional evidence came to light, which led to Urias’ receiving a suspension. Unlike several other investigations MLB has conducted, Urias’ administrative leave was not extended beyond the initial seven days.
“My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Julio Urias violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy,” Manfred said in a released statement when announcing the 20-game suspension.
“Mr. Urias cooperated fully with my office’s investigation. Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Urias violated our Policy and that discipline is appropriate.”
While there may have been some surprise, the Dodgers ultimately stand by the ruling, saying in their statement: “While we are disappointed in what occurred and support the decision by the Commissioner’s Office, we are also encouraged that Julio has taken responsibility for his actions and believe he will take the necessary steps to learn from this incident.”
Urias acknowledged his wrongdoing and restated a commitment to continue growing on a personal level.