Dodgers Rotation Update: Julio Urias Will Move to The Bullpen

The Dodgers’ starting rotation and bullpen have been one of the biggest questions marks to start the season. While the offense has been running like a well-oiled machine, the pitching staff as a whole has barely managed to keep Los Angeles in early contention. The good news is, it now looks as though both the starting rotation and bullpen will get a boost in the coming weeks. Julio Urias, fresh off of a gem of a game in Milwaukee, will move back to the bullpen.

The funny thing about the Dodgers is that Julio would no doubt be a solid number two, if not number one, on almost any staff in baseball. And now he will return to the bullpen with the rotation finally getting healthy. Clayton Kershaw made his return this week from a sore shoulder, Hyun-jin Ryu will get a start on Saturday after a groin strain, and Rich Hill looks like he is locked in and ready to start a game at any time.

If this was indeed Julio’s last start of the season, he made sure to put on a show for all of us. The young lefty from Culiacan shut down one of the best teams in baseball, holding the Brewers hitless through four innings. He finished up allowing just one hit across six innings of work and a career-high nine strikeouts. He will now take that talent to the bullpen where he will likely be used in some fairly high leverage situations.

The Dodgers bullpen is getting better and better after a fairly rough start to the season. Joe Kelly started his Dodgers tenure by allowing eight runs across his first four appearances, but he has been much more effective as of late. Pedro Baez got off to a rocky start as well but has balanced out aside from one bad game in St Louis. He has now pitched in three consecutive games without allowing a run or hit. In fact, he hasn’t allowed a runner to reach at all in those appearances.

The Dodgers starting rotation as of this weekend will consist of Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Hyun-jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda, and Ross Stripling.


Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.


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  1. My takes from Thursday night’s game, Urias much-needed outing for Him and the maligned Dodgers’ relievers and how about how about Verdugo’s play offensively, but more importantly defensively, i.e. the hosing of the Brewers’ base-runner(I forgot his name). I was watching the game on MLB-network, it was the Brewers’ broadcasters and they were saying how Verdugo had a play at the plate last week at Dodger Stadium(vs. Brewers), his throw then was up-the-first-base-line. Last night it was a strike, the Brewers announcers said(the Brewers player) was out by-a-longshot. The only he would have been safe if Barnes had dropped the ball(insert poke at Grandal here).

    • Good poke! (Grin!)………..I thought the same thing when it happened. Barnes might not hit, but Grandal would have dropped that throw before he caught it or dropped it while attempting the tag .

  2. Urias will be the best reliever in the pen except for Jansen, but the Dodger starters will not stay healthy for long.

  3. I commend Urias for being a “team-player.” Like Jim Izzo said how many innings/games before Kershaw, Ryu, Rich Hill, Maeda and Buehler break-down again and again. Wait do the Dodgers have Any pitchers that can stay relatively healthy??

    • I concur with Robin on her above point. I have always believed that the mindset of a starter is different from that of a reliever. If Urias can make the switch seamlessly, fine; if not, his “platooning” back and forth will not yield positive results. Of course, as Robin states, pitching breakdowns are endemic to baseball; thus, I am sure Urias will spend much time on the mound learning his craft from a starters position. He will make a lovely replacement for Hill next year. Go Blue!!!!

    • The answer to that question, Robin is probably not. But my guess is that Urias will be back in rotation at some point because we all know Hill and or Ryu will not last long before going back to the IL.

  4. I am not sure I would agree that Urias, whose ceiling looks as high as Buehler’s, would be a #1 or #2 on “most other clubs.” Reason being is he is coming off major arm surgery and logging starter innings for the entire year is not wise. While he will probably be our #1 or #2 (very excited about this aspect of Buehler 1 Urias 2 in the future, which reminds me of a potential Drysdale Koufax reincarnation) he still has a ways to go to get over that injury and subsequesnt surgery. Moving to the BP at this point is a good move, in my opinion.

  5. We had a Koufax-Drysdale incarnation for 3 years with Kershaw/Greinke, but could not even get to the WS. Maybe this year with Kershaw/Buehler and a better lineup than 2013-15, we can get back and win it all.

  6. Julio needs to stay in the rotation. Let someone else go to the bullpen. He has proved he deserves a chance.

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