I think it is safe to say that Julio Urías is back and ready to contribute at the Major League level. He will be on an innings limit of “somewhere between 70 and 100 innings” but we know he is one of the best pitchers on the Dodgers right now. This article will take a look back to Julio’s journey from his initial injury and the trail back to excellence.

The Injury

The following is the progression of news from Twitter, from the initial “shoulder discomfort” until the actual surgery on his shoulder to repair his anterior capsule.

The Rehabilitation

After his surgery Urías basically went dark on social media and we didn’t hear much from him. As the initial time estimate was 12-14 months people were hoping he’d be back as a contributor at some point late in the season. In early February of 2018 we saw Urías starting to throw again which was almost 8 months since his surgery..

A couple of months later he posted some more progress.

The next day we found out that he had a setback, not his shoulder, but his tonsils. He did start throwing off the mound almost a year after his injury.


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Back To Competition

We were all surprised when this was posted on July 30, 2018.

He then followed up with another appearance with the Dodgers’ Rookie team in Arizona on August 4th as he struck out 4 in 1.2 innings pitched. All of a sudden it looked like that he might be able to contribute as a bullpen piece in 2018.

Brothers at batting practice on August 27, 2018 (Photo Credit: Tim Rogers)

He then had 4 starts with the Quakes with various results. I covered 3 of the 4 starts with mostly positive results. His 4th start was my first one with a media pass so I was able to speak to him a bit. He joked that I should have missed his 2nd start with the Quakes instead of the 3rd one and wasn’t worried about being a little under his previous velocity numbers. After the game he expressed continued thanks to God and extreme confidence that he’d be able to help the Dodgers in 2018.

He was then sent to AAA to continue his rehabilitation, even though his 30 day rehab assignment had expired. It turns out he’d been optioned down and the results at AAA were mixed at best. At this point many were doubting that he’d make it back to the Dodgers in 2018.

Back To The Big Leagues

Surprisingly, he was recalled on September 10 and the long recovery had reached a major milestone as he made his first appearance in a route of the Cardinals.

His next two appearances were also in routes and he was good in both including hitting 97 MPH on the radar gun.

He actually was becoming part of the conversation for a bullen role in the playoffs. Eventually he was left off the playoff roster for the first round of the playoffs but was added in the second round against the Brewers. Eventually he was the winning pitcher in game 4 and, with a lot of help from Chris Taylor, recorded a key out in game 7 to help the Dodgers get to the World Series. He even pitched in the World Series games. What an amazing comeback for him.

Spring Training 2019

Since the beginning of Spring Training Julio Urías has been a top story.

He’s been excellent in all his appearances as he’s only given up 2 its in 9 innings. Now, we have everybody arguing about his role.

There is no doubt he is pitching as well as he ever has and even hit 98 MPH on the radar gun. The issue isn’t whether he’s real good but what is best for his long-term health. It’s looking more and more like he will start the season in the bullpen by a simple parse of these comments from Dave Roberts.

I am still hopeful they follow a plan like I proposed a little while ago. He’s too darn good to waste any pitches in the minors and we all want him to be ready for the post-season.

Final Thoughts

It has been a long road back for Julio Urías as he was almost forgotten. He is now back to contend for Major League innings and the only question will be how many he throws. His recovery has been inspiring as he not only has returned to health but is in better physical shape than ever before. He does not take his talent for granted yet is very confident. Urías has worked hard to improve himself and has maturity beyond his years. The type of player I want on my team is one who works hard on and off the field; who strives to be better at all times, not just in their contract year.