Dodgers: Julio Urías Dominant Option in the Bullpen

The lefty settles into late inning role and excels.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who just passed the halfway point in the regular season, have been nothing short of dominant in 2019. They currently boast a 56-27 record, a better mark than any other team in the entire MLB.

At this point, the Dodgers are essentially a lock to be in the playoffs and seem to be a clear favorite to advance to their third World Series in as many years.

Julio Urias One of the Latest Dodgers to Heat Up Over the Past Month

This season, the Dodgers’ success has been impacted by familiar faces like Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, but also from rookies such as Matt Beaty, Alex Verdugo, and Will Smith – each of which Dodgers fans watched hit back-to-back-to-back walk-off home runs this past weekend.

While at times it has seemed as if every Dodgers player has been heating up simultaneously, the month of June has been especially remarkable for Julio Urías as he’s assumed a reliever role on the team.

On the season, Urías is 4-2 with a 2.66 ERA with 3 saves in 18 games and 47.1 IP.

However, don’t look now, but he has allowed just 4 hits in 6 appearances which spanned out to a total of 14 innings pitched. In that time, he’s held opponents scoreless and lowered his season ERA from 3.77 to 2.66.

Urías May be the Answer to the Team’s Lackluster Bullpen

It’s been no secret that the Dodgers bullpen has had its problems despite the team’s success over the past few months.

While the Dodgers are still likely to explore other avenues in providing the team with more reliable relievers, Urías big month of June has helped ease some of their late-game concerns by giving manager Dave Roberts a reliable arm to put in behind what has easily become the league’s best starting rotation.

With Urías as a reliable option in the bullpen, the Dodgers have a lot of options.

One option is that they could theoretically follow an old-school formula in many games for their in-game pitching rotations: a starter for the first 6 innings, a middle reliever for the seventh and eighth, and a closer for the ninth.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 18: Julio Urías #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 18, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

With the starters rolling and Kenley Jansen appearing to have recaptured some of the magic of his more dominant seasons, this type of scenario is pretty appealing if all parties can remain healthy.

Another option arises in games where the Dodgers’ starters are struggling, or enduring high pitch counts early-on.

The team could use Urías for extended relief work and send him out there for three-plus innings if necessary. He has starter experience and is more than capable to pitch longer than the typical relief appearance.

The Dodgers no doubt hoped that Joe Kelly could assume the responsibility that Urías is now working his way into, but he still has a long way to go to instill any real confidence in him to be able to handle high leverage situations.

Urías may just be the elite reliever that the Dodgers need in order to capitalize on a great regular season come the postseason.

By the time October rolls around, Urías may have just short of a full season of relief experience under his belt. If the rest of the year looks like this past month has, he may be a vital piece in bringing back the World Series title to LA.

Written by Kellan Grant

I’m currently a junior at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and I have a passion for sports journalism. I grew up in the LA area and am a diehard fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, Kings. My favorite Dodgers memory was watching Kershaw tear up after the team won the 2017 NLCS and advanced to the World Series for the first time in his career. After college, I plan on either pursuing a career as a sports journalist or working in sports law.


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  1. They are wasting him in the bullpen. He should be a starter. He’s a 16-20 wins pitcher every year

    • No they aren’t. We need him in the bullpen. They should use him more often. Baez and Urias are the only relief pitchers we have that you can trust right now.

  2. You’re absolutely right Jaime about Urias..Trade Stripling or Maeda for some bullpen help. As it stands right if we were lucky to make to the World Series against the Yankees, we are over matched with our lineup vs theirs, their bullpen vs ours,and the left hand pitching they have vs our lineup. As we all know Kershaw stinks in the World Series. Mr Friedman,acquire Wheeler from the Mets and Vasquez from the Pirates or we will go home empty handed in the Fall. You have the assets,players in the minors and the money to get it done. Don’t let us down.

  3. Urias has done a fine job for us thus far this season!!!! Frankly, I would rather see him in a starting role. Unfortunately, with our BP being what it is, I think I will have to wait until next season to see that happen. I am a firm believer that good pitching can beat good hitting. I also remember the WS of 1963 when we defeated the Yankees in 4 straight after losing the opener. The better our SP’s are, the less the likelihood of a BP meltdown. However, I do want our BP staffed to the max. Velazquez or Hand would be fine additions. In addition, a quality starter would be an excellent addition also : better to have it and not need it, than to not have it and need it. Go Blue!!!!

  4. I don’t think we need another starter.For this year he’s right where he needs to be.Hes the shut down lefty we’ve needed.I still think we need 2 more pen guys that can bring it.You guys are right to be worried bout Hou and NY.Ny has the best pen going and we’ve gotta get there too.You gotta have pen guys that can strike ppl out too.Id love to see em get Vasquez from Pitt and Colome from CHI.

  5. Nice win Sunday! Anyone watch yesterdays game? Maeda………Even though I view him as our weakest starter, I thought he was the first one of our starters this weekend who pitched containment well in that bandbox the Rockies call an MLB ball field. They pulled him out of the game and he had only given up 3 hits. Yet “Dave” pulls him out in the fifth? Why? Because he hit a batter? Because he was about to face the top of the lineup a 3rd time? Because of LH/RH matchups? IDK, but the minute he pulled him out of the game the Rocks went off. I bet they (the Rocks) were glad “Dave” took him out……….Sometimes I just do not understand this man……….

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