Dodgers Spring Training: Julio Urias Believes Shortened Starts Has Prepared Him Well For Possible Swingman Role
Julio Urias
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ projected Opening Day bullpen recently took a hit with the news that left-hander Tony Cingrani was shut down for the next two weeks after experiencing soreness in his throwing shoulder.

A pair of left-handers currently on the outside looking in that presumably stand to benefit from this unfortunate injury are Caleb Ferguson and Julio Urias.

The latter, still only 22 years old, has especially thrived this spring, going 1-0 with a minuscule 1.00 WHIP, 0.44 WHIP and nine strikeouts over nine innings pitched (four Cactus League appearances).

Remaining on a starting pitcher’s regimen, Urias’ spring outings have been strategically capped to four innings by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts as a way to prepare him for a possible swingman role during the regular season.

The former top pitching prospect believes the logic behind that has helped him adapt to potentially pitching out of the bullpen should he make the Opening Day roster, per Ken Gurnick of

“With what I did last year and what I’m doing now, 50 pitches, I know I’ll wake up tomorrow and know I’ll feel good,” Urias said. “In a way, you can say maybe starting is harder. Starting, you have to think about throwing 80, 90 pitches. I’ll be ready if it’s the bullpen or as a starter.”

A starting pitcher for most of his professional career, it’s interesting that Urias sounds more open to relieving, deeming the lighter workload more beneficial and convenient.

Urias has proven capable of handling reliever duties, most notably succeeding at that level during the Dodgers’ 2018 World Series run. Over parts of two series, he allowed only two runs and five baserunners with five strikeouts across 6.1 innings of work.