The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a slew of roster moves in light of the recent wave of injuries that has hit the team. With Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Chris Hatcher and Hyun-Jin Ryu all making their way to the DL in the last week, there was a lot of room for turnover in the team.
Before the Dodgers concluded their series with the Washington Nationals Thursday morning, the Dodgers announced all the roster moves. The Dodgers recalled 19-year-old pitcher Julio Urias for the series finale to go against Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) July 21, 2016
Lets go Julio pic.twitter.com/7waTmGqqgT
— Brian (@BriRobitaille) July 21, 2016
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Along with Urias being recalled the Dodgers picked up the contract of left-handed pitcher Grant Dayton. In addition to this, the team moved Chris Hatcher from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.
The Dodgers will send outfielder Zach Walters and infielder Charlie Culberson to Triple-A Oklahoma City to create room on the roster.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 21, 2016
Fans were excited to see Urias back in the majors and considering the current state of the pitching staff, he may be here on a more permanent basis. Urias pitched well against the Nationals on Thursday, going four innings while allowing 1 run on 5 hits to go along with 4 strikeouts on 77 pitches.
Julio Urias has 4 strikeouts through 3 innings today, 48 in 39 1/3 innings to start his MLB career. 27.6% K rate.
He's 19 for 15 more days
— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) July 21, 2016
77 pitches thru 4 IP for Julio Urias. 1 run on 5 hits, 4 Ks. That has to be close to it for him. 1 IP since July 4 before this. Baez warming
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) July 21, 2016
Today (4 IP) was the first start of Julio Urias' career with no walks.
Naturally, Pedro Baez walked his first batter in relief, the pitcher
— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) July 21, 2016
Julio Urias hasn't been told yet what the next step is for him this season. #Dodgers
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) July 21, 2016
Hatcher’s injury opens the door for a new bullpen piece and Grant Dayton figures to fit right in. Dayton will be a very intriguing player to see get a chance in the bigs, as he has been a lock down back end reliever for the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate Oklahoma City. The 28-year-old has been stellar this season posting a 2.44 ERA in his 35 appearances alternating between Double-A and Triple-A.
Perhaps the most astonishing stat of all though, is his ludicrous strikeout rate. Of the 183 batters that he has faced this season, he’s whiffed 85 of them, which comes to out to a staggering 46.4% strikeout rate. Which, you know, is utterly ridiculous. The highest rate amongst current relief pitchers is 47.4%, and the stat belongs to Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees.
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This is not at all to suggest that Dayton could come in for the Dodgers and become a Chapman clone. But, the fact that Dayton is putting up similar strikeout numbers to a player who throws 105 MPH and is generally hailed as one of the most dominant relievers of the current generation has to make Dodgers fans excited.
For a team that already boasts one of the most statistically impressive bullpens, if Dayton can come in and keep this level of production up, it looks to be a case of the rich getting richer.
The Dodgers begin a three game series with their well known playoff nemesis the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. Brandon McCarthy looks to continue his hot streak as he goes against Michael Wacha who carries with him a 5-7 record with a 4.45 ERA. First pitch is set for 5:15 PM PST at Busch Stadium.
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