Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke with mlb.com beat writer Ken Gurnick about the potential future of left-handed pitcher Julio Urías.
Dave Roberts said that as effective Julio Urias has been as a reliever, stretching him out to start later in the season remains a possibility.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) July 14, 2019
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.
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.