Dodgers: Ten Crucial Questions the Dodgers Have to Answer in 2019

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LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks off the field after pitching during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks off the field after pitching during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 12: Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the seventh inning in Game One of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 12, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Question 7: What will be Julio’s role in 2019?

How will Julio Urias be utilized this year and does he have the same ceiling he used to?  The former rookie phenom is returning from 2017 shoulder surgery which limited him to just a few appearances at the very end of the 2018 regular season.  The Dodgers clearly still have a lot of faith in the young lefty that was once highly touted as the heir apparent to Kershaw as he was included on both the NLCS and World Series rosters.  Urias actually saw more innings in the post-season (6.1) than he did during the regular season (4)!

Will Urias see more time as a starter or a reliever?  Will any of it be spent in the minors?  Coming off his injury (an injury with a much lower success rate than the now ubiquitous Tommy John surgery), there’s no way they don’t limit his innings.  Are they really going to want to waste those innings in the minors?  I’m thinking most likely he’ll work mainly out of the bullpen, barring the occasional spot start, with perhaps a move to the starting rotation late in the season (depending on the rest of the rotation’s health and effectiveness at that point).

Question 8: Who is in the starting rotation beyond 2019?

Assuming everyone can manage to stay healthy, in 2020 the front of the Dodgers starting rotation could be Kershaw-Buehler-Urias.  Followed up by Kenta Maeda as the number four starter.  I guess this isn’t really so much of a question as it is something to look forward to and which prospects will emerge.

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