One of the biggest talks of Spring Training for the Los Angeles Dodgers this year was 18-year-old pitching prospect Julio Urias. The left-hander, who the Dodgers signed out of Mexico in 2012, has opened many eyes so far in his pro career, despite vision in one of his own eyes being limited.
Urias underwent three operations on his left eye during his youth to remove a benign mass. As a result, his left eye is nearly closed. Urias has elected to undergo another procedure, this time a cosmetic one on his left eye and will miss one month, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Dodgers top pitching prospect Julio Urias will undergo elective cosmetic surgery on his left eye to repair a defect and be sidelined for about a month.
Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler said that the organization support’s Urias, and that missing a month now will help limit his workload:
Obviously, one of our main intentions — independent of the procedure — is to protect Julio and limit his workload,” said Kapler. “We’re mindful of pitch and innings totals for every pitcher in our organization. Our aim is to take a long view approach to Julio’s progression with laser sharp focus on long-term health. A blow midseason made sense to us.”
Urias, who is the eighth overall prospect on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects, pitched two innings with the big league club in Spring Training, giving up three hits and a run while walking three and striking out two. He began the season with Double-A Tulsa, where he has made seven starts.
In 36 innings Urias has 46 strikeouts and yielded a 3.00 ERA. While he is still a year or two from reaching the Majors, his electric stuff and poise on the mound is the reason why the buzz on him has been, and will continue to be, so big.
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