Dodgers News: Julio Urias ‘Happy’ With Opportunity To Start

Los Angeles Dodgers went with Julio Urias for his first start in over a month on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, which was second spot start since an early-season transition from the rotation to the bullpen.

Despite filling multiple roles, Urias has excelled in his first full Major League season. The former teenage phenom and top prospect, who missed nearly all of 2017 and 2018 due to shoulder surgery, has primarily pitched in a relief since his return.

However, the Dodgers are still grooming Urias as a long-term starter by bringing him in for multi-inning stints with extra days of rest in between. That has allowed Urias to be the team’s go-to spot starter once Ross Stripling returned to the rotation in the wake of Rich Hill’s injury.

With Hill likely out until September, though, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has left the door open for Urias to be built up as a starter later in the season. That would allow the Dodgers to insert him in a possible postseason rotation.

Urias allowed three runs in 2.2 innings against the Rockies, partially due to an Alex Verdugo error. However, he still enjoyed the chance to start again, per SportsNet LA:

“I’m happy to be back as a starter. I struggled a little bit, especially with my secondary pitches, and [going 2.2 innings] was the result.”

Urias was a top Dodgers prospect for years before making his MLB debut in 2016. He pitched in 18 games, making 15 starts, and pitched out of the bullpen in the postseason.

He would make just eight appearances in 2017 and 2018 due to a torn anterior shoulder capsule, then once again make the team’s postseason roster last year as a reliever.

He started this year in the rotation thanks to injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill but was quickly bumped out once Kershaw returned.

Throughout Urias’s career, the Dodgers have been very conservative with his innings workload due to his young age and slight frame.

However, Urias has repeatedly proved himself as a dependable pitcher for both the current roster and the organization’s future. In 24 outings, he has a 2.54 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, becoming one of the most dependable relievers in an otherwise shaky Dodgers bullpen.