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Dodgers News: Julio Urías May Return to Starting Rotation, per Dave Roberts

The lefty ace has flourished in a hybrid “Josh Hader-like” role this season.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke with mlb.com beat writer Ken Gurnick about the potential future of left-handed pitcher Julio Urías.

Urías has excelled out of the bullpen in 2019, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.76 ERA in 16 games and 30.2 innings pitched in relief. Moreover, he’s gone 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 5 starts in 2019. Add it all up, and you’re looking at a 4-2 record with a 2.36 ERA in 21 games.

Where Urías shines most is in his multi-inning relief appearances. Of his 16 games out of the ‘pen, 11 have been 2 IP or more. He has also recorded two 3 inning saves this season.

But he was born to be a starter, and that’s what the organization sees him as beyond this season. However, it seems they could be looking at him as a starter even sooner. Roberts speaks on the possibility.

Not right now, but that’s a conversation probably more down the road. We know that he’s been in this role, but when you’re talking the end of August, there’s plenty of time to build up. He’s awfully valuable in any role.

Looking Forward

While we’ve been talking about the Culiacan native since 2016 — and even before — he still doesn’t turn 23 until August 12. But now in parts of 4 seasons in the bigs, he’s still only piled up 157.2 innings pitched thanks to injury and surgery. However, if the hope and plan is to have him starting in 2020 on a “program similar to Walker Buehler,” they’ll need to start building up his innings sooner rather than later.

Without making any additional roster moves for relief help, the team’s best chance at winning a World Championship in 2019 lies with Julio out of the bullpen and dominating in a multi-inning role. But that puts him at a disadvantage in 2020 and beyond.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

5 Comments

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  1. Great, Urias in there and no more Stripling please. 91 mph fastballs just don’t make it far anymore. Can we get a catcher who can hit like Will Smith in there and waive the weak hitting KIki, Minor league players are better.

  2. Stripling has been better in a starting role as he can use his entire 4 pitch repertoire. He has an average fastball but when mixed with slider, curve and changeup can be very effective as we saw against Boston Sunday.
    Urias has plus Fastball, Curve and Change and is effective no matter the situation.
    I am hoping the Dodgers sign Ryu next year and the starting line up is Kershaw, Buehler, Urias, Maeda, and Ryu. That would probably be the best starting line up in baseball.
    It’s not as much about velocity as it is movement and the art of pitching. Watch Ryu carve up batters. Look how Kenley subtlety changes his wind up speed and arm angle. Watch Hill when he pitches. Baez has been effective because he learned to throw other pitches to change speed and location. Players can hit a 99 mph pitch if they know it is coming and can guess where.

    • I concur with your comment – as usual. Frankly, if we get Hill back this season, I would move him to the BP, and move Urias into the starting rotation. Kersh, Ferris, Ryu, Urias and Strips : that is a solid starting 5. And, as he showed in the past, Hill has those slow pitches with pinpoint control that can eat the opposition up. Go Blue!!!

  3. ………..at present Urias is the ONLY guy we have in the bullpen that I actually trust to do his job consistently. He has been pitching great.

    Now you tell me you might take him out of the bullpen, when the bullpen is our biggest weakness………..makes no sense at to me.

    But then Roberts rarely makes decisions I agree with.

    • Of course we also must wait to see what if any help for the BP is coming via the trade deadline. I don’t believe he will be removed from pen right away, but if some BP help comes then wss.

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