After a dominant campaign for the club last year, Julio Urias was expected to be a big contributor to the club sometime this year. Expectations were sky high for the 20-year-old, as he was slated to be the guy to back up Clayton Kershaw. After a few bumps in the road, these plans have been put on hold. It hasn’t gotten better, as the team has received what may be the most worrisome news of the Dodgers season.
Urias has been shut down for the past weeks now after a scan revealed inflammation in his shoulder. At first, it wasn’t seen as a serious issue, but a discovery has been made that has raised concerns about the young prospects arm. It was just announced today that Urias will have Anterior Capsule Surgery on his left throwing shoulder and will miss a significant amount of time.
*Update* Per Alanna Rizzo, Julio Urias is scheduled to miss at least 12-14 months.
Anytime there are concerns about a pitcher’s shoulder, organizations and fan bases start to get concerned. When it comes to the Dodgers 20-year-old phenom, it might be time to hit the panic button. In an interview with the LA Times, Dave Roberts didn’t sound too confident in the initial results regarding Urias’ shoulder.
There were signs of concerns from the very beginning. In an interview with the LA Times, Dave Roberts didn’t sound too confident in the initial results regarding Urias’ shoulder.
"“I hope we have some direction, because I don’t know right now.” Roberts said. “It’s still kind of fuzzy, trying to sift through some information. I know Julio’s going to be here — I’m hoping this weekend. But as far as on the medical side, I don’t have any more information.”"
The front office has been careful in trying to limit Urias innings throughout his young career for this reason exactly. After getting his season cut short in 2015 due to eye surgery, Urias was able to earn a spot on the big league club in 2016. While in LA, he pitched a total of 127 2/3 innings.
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After a large workload for the youngster in 2016, the Dodgers weren’t ready to roll the dice on Urias to start this season. He was held back at the end of spring training and started his season in Oklahoma City where he started three games before getting called up.
After his call-up, the consensus was that Urias would slide in the two spot behind Kershaw in the rotation. But, after Urias struggled with his command and was getting hit hard, he was sent back down to the minors in order to regain his control and confidence.
Urias continued to struggle after he was sent down to the minors, which raised questions about if there was a bigger issue. After a few rough outings for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, Urias reported to the club that he has some discomfort in his shoulder. The team responded by placing him on the disabled list as of June 14th and now announces that he will have surgery.
The initial thought was the injury to Urias was not that serious, and all he needed was rest. However, this new news is very bad and we should hear back soon on Urias’ expected timetable return (update Urias expected to be out 12-14 months).
Normally, I’m the last guy who hits the panic button on injuries to players, but when it comes to pitchers and shoulders, there is no room to remain calm. Yes, the Dodgers are well equipped to make up for the loss of Urias, but I’m more concerned about the bigger picture, and for now this likely means the end of Urias’ 2017 campaign.
We just saw Hyun-Jin Ryu come back from his shoulder injury after basically falling off the planet for two years. With Ryu, the biggest concerned was if he’d be able to pitch again. With Urias, Now I have the same concern because he loses valuable time to gain experience. Obviously, Julio’s health is the number one concern, but his development also takes a hit and comes in at a close second.
This surgery is devastating to the Dodgers and to Urias’ development. I’m wondering if this news makes the front office more inclined to pursue a top arm at the deadline. This is certainly not news Dodger fans wanted to hear as there were high expectations for him contributing to the Dodgers postseason run. Let’s hope Urias has a speedy recovery and could be ready to pitch come next year’s spring training.