Not in regard to his performance, though. He’s mostly been tremendous. The question pertaining to his workload was the issue because he had never eclipsed more than 80.1 innings in a single season throughout his professional career … and that number came back in 2015.
In his first five seasons with the Dodgers, he topped out at 79.2 back in 2019. Right now, he’s at 150.2 and is approaching more than double his previously highest mark. Who wouldn’t be wondering what his deal would be as we approach September and October?
Well, we have a lot of good news on that front. First and foremost, Urias is proving that the mileage on his arm is of no concern. He was just victorious over the Atlanta Braves, one of the hottest teams in all of baseball. Secondly, manager Dave Roberts has already begun pushing the left-hander’s starts back to further preserve him.
Dodgers starter Julio Urias is proving his workload is nothing to worry about.
Urias has the most wins in MLB. He’s struck out 160 batters. Only five of his 26 starts this year have featured more than three earned runs. He’s greatly helped alleviate the pain after the Dodgers suffered countless losses in the rotation.
And as of right now, he’s showing that worries about his longevity should be in the rearview as his 2021 season is concerned. What evidence do we have of him slowing down? Absolutely none. And he was able to handle a pressure-filled workload in 2020, starting games when asked and coming in as a reliever when needed, which included closing out the World Series clincher.
Care to hear some encouraging statistics that indicate Urias will be able to last AND dominate for the rest of the way? His fastball velocity is right where it’s always been (94-95 MPH) for the entire year. His curveball (81.6 MPH) and changeup (87.1 MPH) actually increased in velocity compared to previous years.
He’s also in the top 10 percentile among all MLB pitchers when it comes to fastball spin, average exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, chase rate, curveball spin and walk percentage.
If all of those numbers are holding up this far into his career season, why shouldn’t we trust that the left-hander can last through October and still pitch effectively? He’s already proven he can handle the big stage, too, owning a 2.79 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in 18 career playoff outings.
So, don’t start thinking about how Urias’ season might end prematurely; start thinking about he’ll be deployed as the Dodgers approach their most important games of the season.