Backed by another strong start from Julio Urias, the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to complete a comeback over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday evening, scoring eight runs in the eighth inning en route to a dominating 8-1 victory at Goodyear Ballpark.
The left-hander allowed just two baserunners (one hit, one walk) in three scoreless innings of work, accumulating three strikeouts while simultaneously lowering his Cactus League ERA to a superb 1.00 in the process.
Urias’ impressive spring has kept him in the conversation for a potential spot on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. His odds have seemingly improved in recent days, especially when considering the abundance of injuries currently plaguing the pitching staff.
With that in mind, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed the club will limit Urias’ Spring Training starts to four innings, as a way to prepare him for a possible swingman role during the regular season, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Roberts said Urias’ spring starts will be capped at four innings, a middle ground to prepare him for multiple innings of relief, but provide the arm strength for a spot start. “With Julio, there’s innings we’ve got to manage,” said Roberts. “But this year is different than last year. We can do whatever we need. If he goes multiple innings, he’ll need a day off like any of our guys. I don’t think it’s a health thing, it’s more managing the overall innings.”
Still just 22 years old, Urias already has vast experience at the Major League level in a swingman role, showing promise as both a starting pitcher and reliever.
Urias thrived out of the bullpen last postseason, which could very well be his path to more Major League innings this year.
The Dodgers are reportedly planning to limit Urias’ workload to under 100 innings pitched during the regular season, and hope to preserve the bulk of those for later in the year.