Dodgers: No need to panic about Julio Urias just yet

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Oct 19, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias (7) talks with catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs during game four of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias (7) talks with catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs during game four of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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If you haven’t heard the news, Julio Urias was sent down to Oklahoma City on Sunday. The reasoning behind the move is understandable, as he started to struggle mightily. However, there seems to be an attitude surrounding the situation that suggests that Urias is somehow bad now.

Trust me when I say that Julio Urias will be back up and be pitching well with the Dodgers soon, so it is not the time to freak out. Julio Urias had been struggling with the big league club as he sported a 5.40 ERA and 14 walks while only striking out 11 batters. Overall, Urias just didn’t look like his usual self, but we have to remember that he is only 20-years-old.

The 20-year-old has struggled with finding the strike zone in the minors and majors this season, which has led to him to allowing more guys to reach base via walks. While it is alarming to have a pitcher struggle with command so badly, it is understandable for a kid who can’t even buy a drink at a bar yet.

Think back to when you were 20 years old, what had you perfected at that time? Yes, Urias will have to work on his control if he wants to succeed with the Dodgers, but there is plenty of time for him to work on that in Oklahoma City.

Urias was getting along fine before his last two starts in which he gave up 13 combined runs and raised his ERA from 1.06 to 5.40. In his start against the Rockies on May 14th, Urias gave up six runs and only recorded one strikeout. During the game, Urias never really got into a rhythm.

His next start was back at Dodger Stadium against the Marlins, and he didn’t look any better. He only got through 2.1 innings of work while giving up seven runs and walking three batters. This was when it was evident there were some problems with Urias and his control.

Earlier this season, Dave Roberts stated that Urias had a spot in the rotation, but upon his struggles, the Dodgers quickly optioned him down. The Dodgers have made the right move here by utilizing the plethora of starting pitchers they have at their disposal. Typically, Urias would be asked to work through his struggles in the bigs, but because the Dodgers have five other more-than-capable starters, they will let him work it out in the minors.

Now, remember, coming into this year Urias was pitching like one of the top starters in the league. He came into this season owning a 2.73 ERA over his last 16 appearances (13 starts), so we know he’s not far removed from being an ace-caliber pitcher. Giving Urias a chance to hit the reset button in the minors may just help him find his control once again while also giving the team an opportunity to limit his innings.

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Coming into the season the team made it clear they wanted Julio on an innings limit to save his arm. He is still, arguably, the second most talented pitcher on this roster, which is saying a lot at his age, but we still have to protect him from overworking.

As long as the Dodgers continue to take advantage of the 10-day DL, it will be a revolving door for many of their pitchers, including Urias.

No, it is not the time to freak out over the demotion of Julio Urias. He is one of the most talented pitchers I’ve ever seen at his age, but it also comes with a learning curve. This is one of those moments when we just have to realize that this is just one of those experiences that many go through. Urias won’t be down in the minors for long, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he were back up sometime in the next two weeks.

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We have seen flashes of what the young phenom can do, and I know that he will be able to regain that form in little to no time. Expect to see Urias back in Dodger blue this season, and expect to see him dominate batters, as he’s proven he’s more than capable of doing.

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