Julio Urias is largely considered one of those rare, special talents that can anchor a rotation for a decade. At 20-years-old, he’s expected to play a major role on a World Series contender.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com caught up with Urias. The young ace has been in his native Culiacan training.
Sanchez interviewed Urias about his hometown, the support he receives and his first MLB season. Most important in what Urias’ learned in 2016 came during his first two starts.
“I learned some lessons [last season], but I think the most important ones were my first two games in the big leagues,” Urias said. “I had a nice streak in Triple-A of 25 or more innings without allowing a run and then I started those two games in the Majors. I wouldn’t say I got discouraged, but those two games really got me to think, ‘OK, I got the opportunity, what’s going to happen to me now?’ But thank God I never quit on myself and just continued to battle and prepare, and at the end, everything went well for me.”
Sanchez mentioned the likely innings restriction that’ll be placed on Urias this season. He said he hasn’t talked to the team about it, but he anticipates pitching more.
“Right now, they’ve not talked to me about it, but I talked to my agent and he said that they’re going to add some innings to my pitch count this year,” Urias said. “But like I said, my job is to prepare for whatever amount of innings they ask me to pitch. Whatever they ask me to do, I’ll do it, always with my head held high, understanding that if they want to be careful with me and limit my innings, that’s fine with me as well. And if they want me to pitch, I have no problem with that.”
I recently wrote about Urias’ development, and read the tea leaves of a previous Scott Boras comments to guesstimate the innings limit. If we’re to take his comments at face value, Urias would average roughly 143 innings over each of the next four seasons.
The Dodgers’ future is largely tied to Urias becoming a top of the rotation arm. Even with a pitching surplus, Urias is also key to Los Angeles winning the NL pennant in 2017.