Dodgers Video: Julio Urias Pitches To President Of Mexico With Adrian Gonzalez Catching
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 season ended earlier than expected for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they were shockingly defeated by the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series.

Because of that, the players have had a longer winter than the last two years when they reached the World Series. With that extra time the Dodgers have been able to get a jump start on work in the community in addition to taking vacations and beginning offseason workouts at the stadium.

With the calendar soon turning to 2020, all of the players will begin ramping up for Spring Training, where pitchers and catchers will report in the middle of February.

Until then though, they are enjoying the holiday season. For Julio Urias, that means being able to pitch to the president of his native country, Mexico. He posted a video on his personal Twitter account throwing to Andrés Manuel with former teammate Adrian Gonzalez catching him:

At just 23 years of age, the hope is that Urias will be able to follow in the footsteps of Fernando Valenzuela as the next great left-handed Dodger pitcher to come out of Mexico.

He primarily appeared out of the bullpen in 2019 due to an innings restriction in his first full season coming off shoulder surgery. In 37 games (eight starts), Urias went 4-3 with a 2.49 ERA, 3.43 FIP and 1.08 WHIP with 85 strikeouts and 27 walks in 79.2 innings.

The Dodgers currently have a lot of question marks surrounding their starting rotation after Hyun-Jin Ryu signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Urias is expected to return to the rotation in 2020, which should aid that unit.

He will likely slot in as the team’s third or fourth starter behind Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda. The Dodgers could look outside the organization to complete that rotation, or they could fill it with some of their talented young arms like Dustin May or Tony Gonsolin.

Meanwhile, it is nice to see Gonzalez continuing to have a relationship with Urias even though he is no longer on the team. Gonzalez has served as a valuable mentor for many young players in the Dodgers organization, especially the ones of Latin American descent like Urias and Yasiel Puig.

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