Dodgers: Projecting the Possible Playoff Starting Rotation

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May 17, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws a pitch during the sixth inning of the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws a pitch during the sixth inning of the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 9, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias (7) in the sixth inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Julio Urias

This may spark some controversy here, but bare with me. While this fourth spot in the postseason rotation is very much dependent on how the series is going, I see Urias getting the nod over the 37-year old left-hander Rich Hill. This being because of Rich Hill’s health.

Obviously, you can’t predict whether players will get injured or will remain injured within the next four months, but for Hill, there’s been a sizeable track record to be pessimistic. You’ll read more about why Rich Hill didn’t make the rotation on the next slide. This is about Urias.

Urias has had his fair share of struggles this season, especially when it comes to throwing strikes. This season Urias had an unacceptable 5.40 walks per 9 innings ratio before being sent down to Triple-A to work on his mechanics.

Since Urias’ demotion, he’s thrown 11 2/3 innings while allowing a total of four earned runs and walking five. Those aren’t lights out numbers, but they are improved numbers from his last starts in the big leagues.

So why does he deserve the final spot? 

Last season Urias appeared in two games for the Dodgers, once in relief and once as a starter. The numbers aren’t all that eye-opening, but the poise Urias showed is enough for Dave Roberts to take a flyer on him at least in the NLDS.

Urias has the second most talented left-hand in the Dodgers organization. His ability to dominate a game is real, I’ll be it there are still flaws that need to be polished, but if the Dodgers want to win a World Series, they need to rely on their most talented arms.

Given that Urias is down in the minor leagues working on those flaws, this gives Urias and the Dodgers the ability to preserve his innings for the late October push.

Naturally, this may seem like a pick that is going against the grain. Choosing a 19-year old over a 37-year old doesn’t seem practical, but based on Hill’s health, his role may switch come late in the season.

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