As the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to trudge their way through the regular season, hampered by an inconsistent bullpen and offense, the outcry for upgrading the roster grows louder.
Providing internal options with the chance to make an impact figures to be the first course of action, with Mike Bolsinger recovered from an oblique strain, Hyun-Jin Ryu in the midst of a rehab assignment, and Brandon McCarthy nearing his rehab assignment.
In addition, Frankie Montas joined Double-A Tulsa on Saturday for the start of his rehab assignment after throwing two innings in an extended Spring Training game. Carlos Frias was added to the Triple-A Oklahoma City roster and is scheduled to start Sunday.
While the aforementioned pitchers may buoy the rotation and/or bullpen, none come with the same level of intrigue as Julio Urias. The 19-year-old left-hander continues to dominate the competition in Triple-A, all the while working under pitch/innings limits.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said earlier this month the club held discussions over promoting Urias to utilize him as a reliever. The southpaw said he’d like to first gain experience out of the bullpen if that’s the role he’ll hold with the Dodgers, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
As for whether he gets there as a starter or a reliever, he said he doesn’t care. His only wish is that if he is called up to pitch out of the bullpen, he would like to pitch in the minors as a reliever beforehand.
“The major leagues are the ultimate. It doesn’t matter where you pitch or where you hit,” he said. “Whatever it is, you do it. If they say the eighth, the seventh, against a left-handed hitter, you have to do what they ask.”
Urias is 4-1 and leads the Pacific Coast League with a 1.10 ERA and 0.78 WHIP. Opponents are batting .176 against Urias, who extended his scoreless streak on Friday to 27 innings. Of his eight games pitched this season, all but one have been as a starter.
Over his professional career, Urias has started 63 of 69 games. Outside of his lone relief appearance on April 28, Urias last pitched out of the bullpen during the 2014 season, when he did so five times.