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Dodgers: What Is Julio Urias’ 2019 Role?

One of the biggest questions for the 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers will be what role that Julio Urias will fill on the pitching staff. Urias excited Dodgers fans when he made his sparkling return to the big leagues – closing out a scoreless frame in St. Louis with a strikeout.

Urias went on to throw three innings total in the regular season without allowing a run. Then, he threw 6.1 innings in the postseason, including three appearances in the World Series. Nevertheless, he will be entering just his age-22 season.

With the sky-is-the-limit ceiling Urias appears to still have, what should be his role on the 2019 Dodgers?

How Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman View Julio Urias’ 2019 Role

Urias threw a scoreless inning in the Dodgers’ 4-2 loss of game two of the World Series. Then, Dave Roberts was asked about a Urias return to the starting rotation.

“I don’t see him in this role for 2019,” Roberts said. “I think that he’s a starting pitcher. And so our goal is to build him up as a starter, to help us on this club at some point next year.”

Andrew Friedman wasn’t as committal – but such is the life of a general manager. You are pragmatic, and you keep all options on the table so not to box out any possibility that may leave you with future lines in the water.

“I do think that he will impact our 2019 team,” Friedman said. “When, I don’t know right now.”

Credit to Friedman for being honest and not coy in his response. However, much weight should be carried with the comment of the manager. Friedman has stated several times that while suggestions might be made to Roberts on lineup and rotation decisions – the final rule is his and his alone.

For that reasoning, this is a swing in the pendulum that should indicate Urias adding a good workload on top of his career 104 innings in the big leagues in 2019.

How Dodgers Fans View Julio Urias’ 2019 Role

We recently posed the question on our twitter account to our fan base. It was interesting to see the responses – and there was no singular answer that took on a voice in regards to Urias’ future.

As evidenced, many fans feel that a return to the rotation at some point is imminent. However, there are enough smart folks that follow this team who believe that Urias should be eased into that role. One can see the conundrum that the organization will face when the 2019 season begins. There is no correct or apparent answer at this time.

Conclusion

The thought of pushing the gas and getting around 400 combined innings from Walker Buehler and Julio Urias excites me. Here you have two of the top young arm talents in the game – one left-handed – at your disposal from day one in the new year. This is on top of Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill. Indeed, one should see one of the most primary points for optimism right here.

The Dodgers have a luxury with their wealth of starters to ease Urias back into a starting role. The Dodgers will have an eye on his control – he walked over five hitters per nine innings pitched in 2017 before injury. With the high-octane velocity that Urias was showing at the tail-end of 2018, perhaps once his control looks up to speed you make the move to insert him in the rotation.

Until then, we have the fond memories of his strong return and in the postseason to fuel our fantasies.

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. simple only use him as a starter–maybe 25 starts and at least 6 innings–nothing else–the bullpen can hurt him

  2. The role for all current and future dodger pitching farm hands is to not be a choker like Kershaw or this drought could reach 40-45 years atleast

  3. Urias will start the season slow, unless he’s forced into action early because of injuries to others. They won’t get 200 innings this year, but 130-150 isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Basically the same role as Walker Bueller last year.

  4. Easing him in to rotation would appear to be the best plan going forward. But first let me say that at least 2 RHP need to be in rotation, as I don’t believe it’s a good idea having 4 LHP and only 1 RHP as was the case for much of 2018. Too easy for opposing teams to adjust in that regard.

  5. I agree with the consensus. I think they probably plan to bring him around as they did Buehler last year. I expect for Urias like Buehler last year to pitch so well he is used more than they plan. It is a very crowded Rotation right now. I see Wood as the odd man out. And we have Maeda, Stripling, Fergusen and possibly Santos and others like May fighting to come to the Show..
    I am hopeful the Dodgers make a trade this year. I would trade Wood and an Outfielder like Pedersen for a needed player. It would be great if they could get Scooter from Cincy or a very strong BP arm with 2 or 3 players that are blocked in the Dodgers Organization.
    I anticipate they sign a 2nd baseman like LeMahieu or perhaps take anther chance with Dozier if a trade does not happen or a contract is not offered LeMaheiu.

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