The Julio Urias conundrum is one of the more fascinating stories across baseball. Blessed with the talent to reach the majors at 20-years-old, Urias is restrained by an innings limit. The designated limit hasn’t been revealed, but it’s enough to put his early season availability in question.
Urias could start the year in the rotation, bullpen, minors or extended spring training. One of those can be scratched off the list.
The Dodgers do not want to use Julio Urias in the bullpen, Dave Roberts said.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) March 12, 2017
"Industry is not used to a guy like Julio," Roberts said about club's dilemma over how to limit Urias' innings. Bullpen not likely option.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 12, 2017
Los Angeles is moving forward with Urias strictly as a starter. That doesn’t mean he’ll open the year in the rotation, however.
A combination of Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood and Scott Kazmir are expected to finish the rotation, leaving Urias for extended spring training or the minors. If the Dodgers want Urias below 170 innings, or even lower, we won’t see him in the first several weeks.
Joel Sherman reported today the minors are the likely destination.
Right now #Dodgers leaning toward Urias in minors in April to conserve IPs so available all yr, plus playoffs
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 12, 2017
Decision day is approaching. Until then, the focus is on getting Urias ready to pitch in any capacity. He’ll return to the mound at Dodger Stadium soon enough, regardless of how his season begins.