With September rapidly approaching plenty of attention is being given to division races, jockeying for postseason position, and forthcoming September call-ups when active rosters expand.
For the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team in the thick of a division race and one with World Series expectations, September figures to provide further intrigue when considering the prospects expected to reach the Majors. While Los Angeles has thus far resisted promoting Corey Seager or Julio Urias, the duo’s arrival is largely believed to be a foregone conclusion.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly addressed roster expansion prior to Sunday’s win, saying only preliminary conversations were being held at this point. “Obviously, there have been a lot of names talked about,” he said.
“Really, it’s been more about the process than about who.” When pressed further on Urias, Mattingly acknowledged the young left-hander wouldn’t be held back or eliminated from consideration due to any innings restrictions. “I think he’s OK, innings-wise,” the fifth-year manager said.
“They’ve kind of in a sense planned it that if that was something they wanted to do, we’d be able to.” Talented and as heralded as Urias is, Mattingly quickly laid to rest lofty expectations, specifically when answering if Urias can have the same impact out of the bullpen as Francisco Rodriguez did in 2002.
“I don’t think that’s fair to throw that [expectation] out there,” Mattingly said. “He’s still a young kid who is developing.” Urias’ progress this season was briefly stalled as he opted for cosmetic surgery to remove a benign mass from his left eye in June.
He returned to the mound July 10 with the Arizona League Dodgers, made two starts at that level and one with High-A Rancho Cucamonga before re-joining Double-A Tulsa. Urias is 2-4 with a 3.20 ERA and has 63 strikeouts to 14 walks over 11 starts (56.1 innings) with the Drillers this season.
When taking into account his brief time with the AZL Dodgers and Quakes, Urias has made 14 starts and thrown 64 innings in 2015. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman previously didn’t rule out Urias as a September call-up.
Last season the prized left-hander appeared in 25 games (20 starts), all with the Quakes, and threw 87.2 innings — the most in one season since his professional debut stateside in 2013.