The journey to the majors wasn’t easy for Julio Urías, but he announced himself as one of the top young arms in the game during last year’s postseason. Heading into 2021, the plan seemed to be for the young left-hander to be a fixture in the starting rotation. The incredible depth at the position, however, has made things more complicated.
Having made three appearances thus far in spring training, Julio is facing some uncertainty regarding his role heading into the start of the season. When asked if he had been given a definitive answer between being a starter or pitching out of the pen, Urías couldn’t give much of an answer.
No. For now, we’ve been working on every 5 days. That’s what they’re trying to do with me. And just the same, I’ll try to respect their decisions and come in everyday, work hard and just wait until my next opportunity. If that’s every 5 days, then I’ll give it 100% every time. If that’s what they ask of me, then that’s what I’ll do.
It’s incredible that Julio’s spot in the rotation is still up for debate after how much he proved last season. He’s been treated with kid gloves in previous years, partially due to various injuries but also because of his age. While he did start in 10 of his 11 games last year, he was once again inserted into the bullpen for most of the postseason, where he absolutely shut down opposing hitters.
Julio’s success out of the bullpen in 2020 might actually be working against him as the team makes their final decisions on the opening day roster. His October dominance proved that he has the makings of a shutdown reliever, but his potential as a starter is still too good to give up on.
There is still a good chance that Julio finally sticks in the starting rotation this year, but whatever his role, it looks like he’ll be ready to give it everything he has.