Despite little indication that suggested it, the expectation largely held the Los Angeles Dodgers would quickly call up prized left-hander Julio Urias once active rosters expanded in September. While Urias did receive a promotion, it was from Double-A Tulsa to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers did however call up Corey Seager, albeit due to injuries at an early date than first envisioned. Seager has exceeded lofty expectations thus far, and many believe Urias will follow suit. Even if his Major League debut didn’t come until late September or so.
At just 19 years of age, the projected role for Urias with the Dodgers this season is as a reliever — something he isn’t particularly accustomed to. That being said, Seager believes his former OKC Dodgers teammate would be able to adjust accordingly, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
I think he’d have to like almost learn the mindset, learn how to do it,” Seager said. “His stuff’s so good. He can throw all three pitches. In the bullpen you only need one or two. I think he could learn the role. I think he’d be really good at it. He could let it fly, throw 95-plus, because in starts he really doesn’t need to. It could really translate.”
Urias joined Oklahoma City for their postseason push and started Game 2 of their first-round best-of-five playoff series. After pitching well for the Drillers, Urias struggled after being promoted. In 5.1 combined innings over three starts, one of which came in the postseason, he allowed 15 runs on 14 hits, walked eight and finished with a 25.31 ERA.
Oklahoma City’s season came to an end on Friday as they were swept out of the first round. Urias has thrown 81.1 innings, which falls short compared to his 87.2 innings pitched last season with High-A Rancho.
Urias missing six weeks due to elective eye surgery is explanation for the slight decrease in workload, and may be a factor into the Dodgers’ decision on whether or not to promote him.