Posted on June 5, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Despite serious struggles in his first two major league starts, the Los Angeles Dodgers have decided to keep 19-year old lefty Julio Urias in their starting rotation, at least for now. The Dodgers announced Saturday that Urias will make the third start of his big league career Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies, in what will be his first start at Dodger Stadium.
In his major league debut May 27 against the New York Mets, Urias lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He also walked four batters in that game, at times looking surprised at not getting strike calls on pitchers on the borders of the strike zone. In his second start last Thursday against the Chicago Cubs, Urias was able to last five innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits, including three home runs.
The results have not been good, but manager Dave Roberts says the team has seen enough positives from Urias to give him another chance. “It’s more of the way he was throwing the ball,” Roberts explained. “He didn’t get the results he would have liked his first two starts, but the way the ball comes out, the way he competes and handled himself in New York and Chicago, we want to see him again. We want to get another look at him and give him another opportunity.”
Roberts added that Urias’ composure was better in his second start. “We believe in the player, in the person,” he said. “He can follow a game plan. It’s just more of getting his feet wet, continuing to calm his nerves and make pitches.” The manager is also excited to get Urias a chance start in front of the home fans for the first time.
Of course, with Alex Wood recently joining Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy on the DL, the Dodgers don’t have many other options as far as starting pitchers are concerned, which makes it a little easier to give Urias another start. Wood, Ryu, and McCarthy are all unlikely to return before the all-star break, while Ross Stripling, who has started eight games for the Dodgers this year, is on the DL at triple-A, so it’s not surprising that the Dodgers want to give Urias at least one more chance before having to search even deeper into their farm system for another starter.
Of course, the Dodgers will have to take Urias out of the starting rotation at some point this year. He doesn’t have enough innings logged in his young career to last a full season in the starting rotation, so at some point he’ll likely be moved to the bullpen. Whether that happens in Los Angeles or at triple-A Oklahoma City will depend on well he pitches for the Dodgers moving forward.
Urias will get at least one more chance on Tuesday to prove that he can help the Dodgers win games right now; otherwise, Los Angeles may have to find someone else to fill the final spot in its rotation while their injured starters work their way back to the big leagues.