Julio Urias showed exactly what all the fuss was about in 77 sporadic innings. He was up and down from the minors four times, in and out of the bullpen, and averaged fewer than five innings per start, but the poise and composure Urias showed was in line with that of a seasoned veteran. He struck out a quarter of the batters he faced, deploying a healthy four-pitch mix with each secondary offering getting used at least 13 percent of the time. He was essentially platoon-neutral with his righty OPS actually 15 points lower despite a .376 BABIP. Only four of 10 appearances in the second half were five innings or longer, but it's hard not to be impressed with the 1.99 ERA he had in 40.2 innings. Urias is likely to have another finely-curated workload in 2017, but after 122 frames last year, he could push 150 this time around. Perhaps starting in the bullpen is the best way for the Dodgers to get him to the finish line and have him available for a potential playoff run.
Urias (illness) will pitch on the back fields Thursday, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports. He dealt with strep throat recently, but rejoined the team Monday and will get back to work later this week. Urias is expected to start the season at extended spring training, as the Dodgers want him to be able to pitch into the postseason, and will therefore have to find a way to limit his innings early on. Even so, he has as much per-inning upside as any young pitcher in the game, with the exception of Noah Syndergaard, and should therefore be stashed in almost all formats.
Urias is back at Dodgers camp on Monday after being sent home with strep throat, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Urias isn't 100 percent yet, but he seems to be feeling well enough to return to camp, which is good news. He won't make his scheduled minor league start on Tuesday, but the 20-year-old is hoping he can throw a bullpen instead. This may slow him down a little over the next week, but it shouldn't have any effect on his readiness for the beginning of the season. Urias will be someone to monitor as the season approaches, as the Dodgers have yet to determine what they'll do with the young southpaw to enter the season.
Urias has been sent home from Dodgers camp with strep throat, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports. Urias was scheduled to pitch in a minor league game Tuesday but may be forced to miss that start due to his illness. His return date to big league camp is yet to be determined.
Urias might be sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City for the beginning of the season in an effort to keep his inning count low, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Manager Dave Roberts said that they don't want to utilize the top prospect out of the bullpen, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times, which would mean stashing him on the bench if they wanted to limit his starts at any point during the season. The Dodgers see this as the best alternative at this point so that they can have Urias available at the end of the season and hypothetically the postseason. Los Angeles has a plethora of arms competing for the final couple rotation spots (Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Scott Kazmir), and optioning Urias back to the minors would allow them to keep more of the veterans on the roster at first while giving their youngster a bit more time to develop against advanced hitters. This decision certainly isn't final, but it's worth keeping an eye on over the next few weeks.
Urias made his Cactus League debut Tuesday, seeing one inning of work while giving up one run and striking out two in a 14-3 win over Colorado. Despite allowing a run, Urias looked sharp, throwing 11 of his 14 pitches for strikes Tuesday. He went on to throw more pitches in the bullpen after being removed from the game to bring his pitch count up the roughly what would be expected in two innings. The Dodgers will likely space his starts and innings during spring training in order to limit the workload on their prized young arm. Urias hasn't officially been named the team's fourth starter, but there is a strong chance he can make the 25-man roster if he continues to pitch well this spring.