Standout starter Julio Urias hit the 10-day IL on Saturday after getting hit on the calf during an at-bat on Friday against the New York Mets. The silver lining for the already short-handed Dodgers? The injury will give Urias’s left arm a much needed break.
Before the season started, Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior characterized that letting Urias throw 200 innings in 2021 as “reckless”. Well, Urias was on pace to get damn close to that plateau (139.2 IP).
The Dodgers have always been cautious with the young starter and this season, even with four starters out, is no exception. Urias’s calf contusion is a low-risk, legitimate injury that the Dodgers leveraged into a 10-day IL stint. At the moment, Urias’s injury is a hindrance to the club, but the additional rest could end up being a big help to all involved come October.
Looking Ahead Without Urias
Another fortuitous circumstance is that the Dodgers will be hosting one of the worst teams in the league starting Monday – the Pittsburgh Pirates (42-76). Against a team like the Pirates, the Dodgers should still win the series. Even with a bullpen game and a Mitchell White start.
Following the Pirates series is a three game set against the Mets. Unlike the Pirates, the Mets shouldn’t be taken lightly as recent history proves. At the very least, the Dodgers will have a few days to strategize how they want to handle the backend of the rotation for next weekend.
Kershaw and Hamels are not options. Kershaw can return, if all goes well, from the 60-IL in early September. Hamels is still slated for a September return as he continues to build up for a starting role. Gonsolin is in the “infancy” of his rehabilitation to return to the team according to manager Dave Roberts.
Calling up a prospect (Andre Jackson) for a spot start might end up being the stop-gap solution.
Urias needed the rest to be at his best for the home stretch. Whether fans or the Dodgers like it or not, he’s getting it right now.