Adam Liberatore was somewhat of a surprise to not make the roster, but the move was understandable. Coming off elbow surgery this past October, it looks as if the team wants to take it slow with the 29-year-old.
After posting a 3.38 ERA in 42.2 innings last season, Liberatore looked to be a strong piece in the Dodgers’ bullpen. He was very strong in his outings for the team and only slowed down once he hit the disabled list in July. After coming off the disabled list he never seemed to find the same electricity and was eventually shut down in October to receive surgery.
Look for Liberatore to build up some innings in AAA and eventually find a spot back in the bullpen. If Luis Avilan isn’t cutting it out of the pen, Liberatore will likely take over as the team’s best lefty reliever. Another possible scenario is Chris Hatcher getting DFA’d to make space. I’m praying for the latter.
Julio Urias showed great potential last year and looks to be an ace in the making. The team is playing their cards right by limiting his innings and sending him to extended Spring Training and then to OKC. I know it’s hard to be patient and bring him along slowly, but you have to remember this kid can’t even buy alcohol yet.
The 20-year-old phenom struggled in his first two major league starts, but then settled down and looked comfortable pitching against major league hitters. In 18 appearances (15 starts) last season, Urias posted a 3.39 ERA and a (solid for his age)1.45 WHIP. He finished the season strong, as he had a 1.96 ERA in his final 36.2 innings. All this is coming from a kid who has monster potential, so taking it slow with him is the perfect decision by the Dodgers at the moment.
Urias will see time in the majors this year. He may not make 30 starts, but the team will more than likely want to see at least 110 innings out of him. If he pitches like he did previously, watch out, because the Dodgers may soon have the best rotation in baseball.