Dodger fans got good news on Saturday regarding Julio Urias. The 21-year old is reportedly set to start throwing soon, and could return to the Dodgers for the second half of the season.
Julio Urias said he’s healthy after surgery and will soon resume throwing. Expected to be game ready the second half of the season.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) January 27, 2018
Urias is coming off shoulder surgery from an injury suffered in June of 2017. His injury, a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, typically leads to a long recovery process. Julio’s tear was viewed as “acute” so he should be able to return without any lingering effects.
Urias was once regarded as one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball, after being signed by the Dodgers at just 16-years old. He made his Major League debut in 2016, and his fanfare was dubbed “Julio Mania” reminiscent of when Fernando Valenzuela debuted with the Dodgers. Urias got off to a somewhat tough start, but settled in quickly. He finished 2016 5-2, with a 3.39 ERA and 84 strikeouts over 77 innings. Julio exceeded expectations, pitching well down the stretch against the best hitters in the world, all while only being 19 at the time of his debut.
Urias started 2017 in the minors, and was called up at the end of April. Upon his call-up, he had some early success. On May 9th, he had his best start to date, taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning. The no-hitter was broken up by Andre McCutchen, when Andrew Toles suffered a knee injury trying to play the ball. Urias followed this with two rough starts, and was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Three weeks later his season would come to an end after feeling shoulder discomfort during a start.
The Dodgers have always been very careful with Julio, and it’ll be more of the same in 2018. He will be brought along slowly while rehabbing, but could still help the team if he can return to his prior form this season. Expect him to remain on a strict innings limit, to help protect him from re-injury.
Urias returning is exciting for the team and fans alike. Once he’s back to 100% he’ll likely compete with guys like Walker Buehler and Brock Stewart for a spot on the Major League roster. With their immense depth, they can afford to bring him along slowly to make sure he’s healthy. At just 21-years old, Urias has plenty of time to fulfill the promise he showed as a prospect.
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