The Los Angeles Dodgers’ series opener against the Colorado Rockies did not go as planned as a nightmare fifth inning lead to a 9-1 win for the Rockies at Coors Field.
The second game of the series on Tuesday night would have been Ross Stripling’s turn in the rotation, but he left his last start with neck stiffness and was later placed on the 10-day injured list with right biceps tendinitis.
With Stripling not being able to make the start and potentially being out for multiple outings, the Dodgers needed to find someone to take his place in the rotation.
Tony Gonsolin traveled with the team to Colorado and is expected to be activated before Tuesday’s game to give them some innings. However, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stopped short of saying Gonsolin would make a second spot start for the team.
After the Dodgers’ loss to the Rockies, it was announced that Julio Urias is being tabbed for the start, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
Julio Urías will start for the Dodgers tomorrow.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) July 30, 2019
In 23 games (five starts) this season, Urias is 4-2 with a 2.34 ERA, 3.51 FIP and 0.97 WHIP with 59 strikeouts and 19 walks in 57.2 innings. Coors Field has not been kind to him in the past, as he has pitched to a 7.90 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in four career games.
Roberts recently said moving Urias back to the starting rotation at some point this season remains under consideration, so it wouldn’t be that surprising to see him remain in the rotation after Tuesday’s outing while Stripling is out.
Another option would be trading for a starting pitcher before Wednesday’s 1 p.m. PT deadline, and keeping Urias in the bullpen as a multi-inning option.
Urias is not built up to give the Dodgers length at the moment, so he and Gonsolin will likely throw three innings or so each against the Rockies in effort to lighten the burden on the bullpen.
Luckily, this is the Dodgers’ last trip to Colorado this season. Coors Field is typically taxing on a pitching staff and missing a starter does not make things easier, but Roberts has done a nice job all season of managing workloads to keep them fresh for the second half of the season.
Left-hander Kyle Freeland, who is having a rough year for the Rockies, will be opposing Urias on Tuesday night.