On Thursday night in Omaha, Nebraska, 19-year old left-handed pitching phenom Julio Urias took the mound in a way that wasn’t entirely normal. You see, he’s a starting pitcher and has been used primarily as such ever since the Los Angeles Dodgers signed him several years ago on the same scouting trip they signed Yasiel Puig on.
When he took the mound yesterday, he did so as a relief pitcher. It was the first time Urias had made an appearance as a relief pitcher since August 18, 2014. It was only the sixth time in his career that he had even been asked to do this, so it was a little interesting to watch unfold. However, Urias did what he does best. He shined.
Urias came in to pitch the final three innings, which were the sixth, seventh, and eighth frames of the night, and did so without giving up a single run. Urias did give up three hits, two of which were doubles, but he scattered those hits over the three innings. The lefty finished the night with a scoreless bullpen appearance, and it possibly showed what he’s capable of later this season.
The final line on the Dodgers top prospect in the minors was three innings, three hits allowed, one walk, no runs, and three strikeouts. He did that on 60 pitches. So far this season, Urias has struck out 23 batters and walked just three in 18 innings. He’s given up five earned runs on 14 hits, and Urias is currently sporting a 2.50 ERA.
One of the things that has been talked about a little bit is that the Dodgers could bring up Julio Urias during the stretch run as a left-handed reliever in order to bolster their bullpen during that final month or so. It’d be similar to what the Tampa Bay Rays did with David Price. Still, that’s a ways off, and we should appreciate what Urias is doing right now.