Dodgers: How Julio Urias’ Absence Affects the 2019 Dodgers
The Dodgers received shocking news on Tuesday morning, as it was announced that Julio Urias was arrested for a domestic violence incident.
Tuesday morning, the Dodgers and the rest of the baseball world received shocking and disturbing news as Julio Urias was arrested for a possible domestic violence incident. While the investigation is ongoing and it’s far too early to assume his innocence or guilt, there is a very real possibility the Dodgers will be without Julio for an extended period of time.
Dodgers Way’s Jacob Rudner further elaborates on how the Dodgers should handle Urias, and in this article, I will look at strictly the baseball side of how this incident will impact the Dodgers. Julio was placed on the restricted list and will be out for at least seven days, although it will likely extend beyond a week and will immediately lead to a suspension if he is found guilty.
Before getting into the specifics on how this impacts the Dodgers on the field, I would like to acknowledge that the most important thing is the victim’s wellbeing and making sure she is healthy both physically and mentally. Being that this is a Dodger site, I felt the baseball impact should be covered as well.
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In the short term, the Dodgers recalled J.T. Chargois for their two-game series with the Padres, and on Friday they are going to activate Caleb Ferguson from the IL to pitch in their series with the Reds. The Reds are a left-handed heavy team while the Padres are right-handed heavy which is the reason for these moves. Tony Cingrani is also going to finish his rehab stint soon, and since he is out of options, he will likely be recalled for another reliever such as Ferguson.
Julio Urias was being used in a hybrid multi-inning/setup reliever role that the Dodgers will need to replace possibly for an extended period of time. Caleb Ferguson fits that role like a glove given his previous experience as a starting pitcher. This season, he has struggled with his command, but he has held left-handed batters to a .190 average.
After shifting to a relief role last season, Fergie became an effective reliever posting an ERA of 2.35 while holding the opposition to a .231 average. Due to his power stuff, Caleb Ferguson can be used against both left and right-handed batters. He held righties to a .237 average last season while lefties hit .217 against him. If the Dodgers want to continue to use someone in that hybrid role, Ferguson is the perfect option.
Not only would a long term absence affect the bullpen, but it would also affect the Dodgers’ rotation. Julio Urias was expected to slide into the rotation towards the latter half of this season, but now that is in question. This opens up a possible rotation spot for Ross Stripling. The Dodgers are doing their best to honor Kenta Maeda’s incentive laden contract, but if he struggles, then Stripling would be the ideal candidate to slot back into the rotation.
Ross Stripling is another option to pick up multiple innings of relief out of LA’s bullpen, although he is not likely to be used in a setup role like Ferguson will be. If things go awry, then the Dodgers also have top pitching prospects Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin sitting in the minor leagues, as well as the recently promoted Mitchell White.
Regardless of what happens with Julio Urias, his absence will be felt by the Dodgers’ pitching staff, although that is currently the least of their worries. The most important thing right now is Major League Baseball completing the investigation of Urias, and if he is found guilty of violating the domestic abuse policy, give him a long term suspension. In the meantime, the Dodgers have plenty of arms to replace him.