The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Julio Urias on the 10-day injured list with a left calf contusion and recalled Zach McKinstry from Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to Saturday’s game against the New York Mets.
Urias becomes the latest Dodgers starting pitcher to land on the IL after he was hit by a pitch in his left calf on Friday night. That loaded the bases in the fourth inning and led to the Dodgers scoring a run when Trea Turner followed with a sacrifice fly.
Urias was in some pain after being hit and he limped down to first base before being checked on by a trainer and remaining in the game. He wound up pitching five scoreless innings, complete with five strikeouts.
On the one hand, Urias landing on the IL provides a break in what’s been his most usage as a Major Leaguer. The left-hander is now up to 139.2 innings pitched across 24 starts this season, which is well past a previous career high of 79.2 innings in 2019.
If factoring in the postseason that year, Urias threw 81.1 frames in 2019. For the 2020 regular season and playoffs, he threw a combined 75 innings.
“Julio has handled it with flying colors,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Urias’ workload. “He’s been fantastic and having a tremendous season. We’re certainly aware of where he’s at with his innings.
“Each outing, looking at where we’re at, giving us the best chance to win, leaning on Julio versus taking the gas off to pass the baton for that night, will there be a time when we give him a blow or respite? Possibly.
“Because I think the most important thing is to keep him healthy and fresh through October, so we’re constantly having those conversations.”
The rest and recovery Urias presumably will gain while on the IL leaves the Dodgers with a starting rotation of only Walker Buehler, David Price and Max Scherzer.
Dodgers bolster bench
Justin Turner is available to pinch-hit on Saturday, but Roberts indicated he would likely be replaced on the bases if reaching safely. Turner has not played since last Sunday because of left groin discomfort and could be back in the lineup for the series finale at Citi Field.
McKinstry returning from Oklahoma City gives the Dodgers some needed depth on the bench and a candidate to pinch-run for Turner if the opportunity presents itself.
McKinstry was optioned to OKC along with Mitch White on Aug. 1 as the corresponding moves to Mookie Betts returning from the IL and Yefry Ramirez getting called up. McKinstry has hit .217/.265/.408 with nine doubles, seven home runs and 29 RBI in 58 games with L.A.
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