Dodgers: Julio Urías Could be the Most Valuable Bullpen Piece
The Dodgers starting rotation has finally been restored now that all the injuries have been cleared. This leaves a big question mark on the role that Julio Urías will play moving forward.
Urías began the 2019 season in the starting rotation due to the injuries of Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill. Once the Dodgers got their two veteran starters back, there was no room in the starting rotation for Urías anymore. He was sent to the bullpen due to his innings restriction this season.
Although he was added to the bullpen, Dodgers’ Manager Dave Roberts said that he wanted Urías to eat innings, throwing multiple innings per outing when possible. This is a smart move for the team since Urías has an ERA of 3.12 as a reliever and a career ERA of 3.77 as a starter.
In his first full season back from the surgery that sidelined him over a year, slowly bringing him back is a smart move on LA’s end. With Kenley Jansen taking the bulk of the late-game situations, Urías came in to pick up his first career save on Monday night. It was an impressive outing, as his pitches touched as high as 98 mph.
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The good thing about Urías is that he is a versatile pitcher. He could come in and pitch multiple innings, which would be the ideal case as he looks to build back up for the latter end of the season. Or he could be used more often for one inning and come up clutch for the team.
We saw it in the postseason last year with how the Brewers handled Josh Hader, arguably the best relief pitcher in baseball. They would bring him in for multiple innings, prior to the ninth inning. If Julio doesn’t crack the playoff rotation, the Dodgers could use Julio in a Hader type role.
With Jansen struggling and also taking the bulk of saves, this could be ideal for Urías. He could come in and pitch the eighth inning ensuring that Jansen pitches solely in the ninth inning. With Jansen’s medical history, it will also be important to have a backup in case something comes up, and Urías looks like he’s ready to prove he’s that guy.
The Dodgers will insert Julio Urias into the rotation towards the middle of the season, but there is no guarantee that he makes the postseason rotation. The Dodgers have four solid playoff rotation options in Kershaw, Buehler, Hill, and Ryu. That could allow them to shore up the pen by using Urias in the bullpen once again in October.