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Dodgers: Kenta Maeda and Julio Urías Swapping Roles

The Dodgers are shuffling around their pitching staff in September.

Dodgers
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24: Kenta Maeda #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on during the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 24, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Dodgers have moved right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda to the bullpen and have moved the recently reinstated Julio Urías into the rotation. Urías will start Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.

In addition, left-handed starting pitcher Rich Hill threw 35 pitches on Monday and will also be facing live hitters over the weekend.

Kenta Maeda

Maeda’s move to the bullpen comes as no surprise as it is the third year running that the Dodgers have done exactly this with his handling. Maeda figures to be a key member of the Dodgers’ bullpen in October and according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, he could factor into the closing picture down the stretch outside of Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, and Pedro Baez.

On the season, Maeda posted a 4.11 ERA and 3.96 FIP in 138 innings. In his sole relief appearance in 2019, he had a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. Lifetime, Maeda holds a 3.92 ERA as a starter in a fairly large sample size and a 3.04 ERA as a reliever in just 26 2/3 innings.

Julio Urías

After Urías’s recent suspension for a domestic violence dispute, it was uncertain what sort of role he would return in, but now we have our answer. He will be returning as a starting pitcher. He has made just six starts out of 27 appearances for the Dodgers, amassing a 2.53 ERA across the season. As a starter, Urías holds a 3.55 ERA this season and a 3.74 ERA lifetime. As a reliever, Urías holds a 1.91 ERA this season and a 2.17 ERA lifetime.

This development is interestingly telling and could mean the Dodgers envision Urías as their fourth starter in the playoffs.

Rich Hill

The latest developments regarding Hill are very positive as he will be facing hitters over the weekend after throwing a 35-pitch bullpen session on Monday. Hill has missed significant time as he has not thrown an inning since early-June. Prior to going down with a flexor injury in his pitching elbow, Hill looked solid, holding a 2.55 ERA and 3.36 xFIP.

He will be a huge addition for the club down the stretch as well as in October.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

4 Comments

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  1. John Higelin
    It’s time to see if Urias can become the Ace our organization had hoped for.
    My understanding he would become one of our top three pitchers of the future. Try him out and use him if Hill can’t comeback. Easier to switch him to bullpen where he’s proven himself if he doesn’t work out as starter or get built up for 6 innings.

  2. Maeda must be DFA, he should absolutely not be on the roster. He’s proven he can no longer pitch against MLB level competition, he allows way too many HRs, if the Dodgers keep Maeda on the playoff roster, he will give Dodgers fans nightmare of the ages. Now we’re really seeing these 30+ year old Dodger pitchers fatigued going down the stretch: Kershaw, Ryu, Maeda, Jansen; they just don’t have much left in the gas tank. You can’t win the World Series with a bunch of old pitchers, the Dodgers will find that out the hard way this year.

  3. Maeda isn’t going to be DFA’d. But after this season, regardless of how it ends, it’s time to reboot the starting pitching staff. Ryu’s season has been an anomaly for the most part and I just hope the FO sees it as such. He’s going to be 33 next season starts, had never thrown 200 innings and is injury prone. Sign him only if he agrees to a 2 year deal with maybe a club option for a 3rd. Hill is going to be 40 before next season and misses months out of every year. Maeda can’t start anymore. Next year – Ryu (if signed), Kershaw, Buehler, Urias and Gonsolin or May.

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