Dumb luck led to my being able to attend Julio Urias spring debut, but boy, the experience was something else. Walking around the facility, everyone — fans, players, coaches — had something of a hop in their step.
The reason: The Dodgers’ top prospect was slated to pitch. Not Zach Lee, who would start that game, but Urias. The OC Register’s Bill Plunkett first pointed this out, but the point is a great one.
Lee should have created that buzz all his own. The organization not only gave him that huge signing bonus and the responsibility that comes with it, but held onto Lee when trades could have been made.
This isn’t to say Lee should be considered a bust by any stretch right now. There are stages of disappointment before “bust”. That said, the buzz around social media when Urias’ innings are scheduled or that swept through the press box when Urias took the mound is somewhat bittersweet to a certain extent.
Urias will pitch tomorrow, per Ken Gurnick and others. He won’t start, but he’ll pitch. He’ll do so after Lee, who is scheduled to start.
Julio Urias is healthy and will pitch second tomorrow. But Zach Lee starts.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 15, 2016
Lee, the Dodgers and Dodgers fans should hope sometime soon, he won’t be an appetizer to a larger, more exciting main course.