Dodgers Prefer Julio Urías Only Starts In Postseason, But Won’t Rule Out Bullpen Role

Originally published by

Julio Urías has emerged as the ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, and they will continue to rely on him in that role once the 2022 MLB postseason begins.

However, Urías also has experience closing games, and in a five- or seven-game series, all options will be on the table to emerge victorious. While Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would prefer to avoid using the left-hander out of the bullpen, he won’t rule out the possibility.

“I don’t want to close the door on anything right now,” Roberts said. “I don’t know how the playoffs are going to play out. So I do know that I’m certain all of our starting pitchers would be available, obviously, to start, and if it makes sense down the road in a crazy series to be available (in relief) if their health isn’t compromised.

“But in a perfect world, our expectation is for him is just to be a starter.”

Urías last appeared out of the bullpen during the regular season in 2020, and before that he was primarily a reliever in 2019. He also made relief appearances in both of the previous two postseasons despite being primarily a starting pitcher.

But that was when Urías was in the middle of the rotation rather than the front of it. The 26-year-old has developed into a Cy Young Award candidate, and with where he’s now at in his career, it could lead to a preference of just utilizing Urías as a starting pitcher.

However, Roberts noted that isn’t part of their decision-making in how they will deploy Urías in the playoffs.

“I think the factors are what options do we have at that moment in time, if it isn’t compromising his health or future,” Roberts said. “But I think that you can look at, and I would say virtually every postseason, managers are using starters in various roles. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

“So I just don’t think it’s smart to just close that door.”

Last season, Roberts used Max Scherzer to close out the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. In 2020, it was Urías who emerged as the Dodgers’ closer closer in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series and Game 6 of the World Series, even though Kenley Jansen was on their roster.

Dodgers undecided on rotation order with Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw

While the Dodgers haven’t yet disclosed their starting rotation order, Roberts revealed Urías and Clayton Kershaw will get the ball in the first two games of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium.

“We’re in a situation where I don’t think we can go wrong with either [Urías] or Clayton,” Roberts said. “So we’ll kind of see how the last couple starts go for these guys, but I think it’s fair to say those guys will be starting Game 1 and Game 2.”

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!