2 Ideas How Dodgers Might Use Julio Urias in 2019


Rightfully so, there’s been a lot of chatter surrounding Julio Urias in the early days of 2019 spring camp. The Dodgers had their first look at the 22-year-old lefty during Cactus League play on Wednesday against Oakland. Besides his flawless stat line, there was plenty of complimentary applause for him, especially by his skipper Dave Roberts.

“Today he was really sharp,” Roberts said. “He’s been really sharp all spring. Fastball was 94-97. He’s focused. He looks great. He’s determined. He’s on that starter rotation, so we’ll see him in five days.”

High praise, indeed. Reporters around Camelback pressed the manager about how the Dodgers plan on using Urias during the upcoming campaign, and Roberts, always known to leave the door open for almost anything, surprised everyone by hinting at a slot in the rotation.

“The door is open for him,” Roberts added. “The opportunity will present itself if it’s supposed to.”

Minds of some fans drifted immediately to the prospect of Urias taking the spot of Clayton Kershaw in the rotation due to the ace’s problematic shoulder, but the truth is that there’s more than four weeks before Opening Day, which is a ton of time for a number of different scenarios to play out.

Regardless, many are still wondering if there are any firm plans for the young southpaw this year, or if the squad intends on using him on the fly, based on whatever needs the club might have.

One emerging line of thought is that the club will use him sparingly in the early portion of the year, saving the bulk of his workload for the stretch run of the regular season and into the playoffs. In this light, some have theorized the team will have him join the rotation at Triple-A Oklahoma City to start the year; however, if he’s on a specified innings limit, it doesn’t make much sense wasting those innings in the minors, especially if his stuff is as good as everyone says.

Another less-popular theory is that the club might use Urias as a reliever. This seems impractical, particularly because of the amount of big league depth the team has. As it stands now, there may be up to three or four capable relievers forced to begin their seasons on the farm.

Personally, I can see it playing out similarly to the way teammate Walker Buehler was used last year. Everyone knew that Buehler had a limit heading into the 2018 season, but nobody knew the specifics. As it turned out, Buehler threw 153-1/3 frames between the majors and the minors. He wasn’t called up to the bigs until late April, eventually staying in the rotation to make nine consecutive turns. Fans will remember him getting stung by a Trevor Story comebacker which led to a microfracture in his ribs, causing him to miss three weeks of action.

Injuries are seldom a good thing, but the timing couldn’t have been better for Buehler. He rejoined the rotation on July 13 and has remained cemented in his spot since. The season played out perfectly for him as far as his innings limit and usage went. The 13 innings he threw at the minor league level during the first month of the 2018 season were managed perfectly.

Nevertheless, Roberts indicated that Urias will continue to be on a five-day rotation during Cactus League play, which conceivably suggests that extended spring training is off the table. If the Dodgers were to indeed start Urias in the minors and allow him to throw about three innings a week for a month, it would seemingly keep him fresh while starting him out on a pace similar to what Buehler saw last year.

The most important thing could be knowing exactly what the Dodgers have in mind in terms of an innings limit.

In any event, it’s certainly nice to know the club has a weapon of Urias’ caliber waiting to be unleashed.


49 thoughts on “2 Ideas How Dodgers Might Use Julio Urias in 2019

  1. You just have to be super careful with a talent like him. He basically hasn’t pitched for 2 years so I can’t see him throwing more than 110-120 innings including playoffs so they have to slow play him at some point during the season so he’s ready for playoffs

      1. Not only will Segura and Harper have at it eventually, but I just don’t see Bryce and Gabe getting along over the long haul. This might just have sealed Kapler’s fate. I give him two more years, max. I wonder if Harper gets to pick his manager, same as LeBron gets to pick his coach.

  2. Best possible outcome. We don’t have to get rid of Verdugo and the Giants don’t get Harper. We really don’t need Bryce so good luck in Philly. He said he didn’t want any opt outs. To me, that’s a crazy decision, especially since the contract is front loaded. Full no trade. No deferrals.

  3. I’m glad this is the outcome. Yes Harper would have been a flashy move and he’s a good ball player who would have been a big addition to the offense but I think Joc and Verdugo will be more than ok in LF. That’s just far too long and too much money to give anyone besides Mike Trout.

  4. Glad that’s over. Doesn’t seem like a great deal for Harper to me It will be interesting to see what JOC and Kikki give us in left vs what Harper does in Philly even tho it’s a much better hitters park

    1. After all this time Rich, can you at least get Kike’s name right? Harper’s numbers in LA would not come close to what he is going to do in Philly. You add Kike and Joc’s numbers from last year and they compare pretty favorably with Harper. 46 HR’s to Harper’s 34, 108 RBI’s to Harper’s 100.

  5. It seems like every Dodgers beat writer and fan are devastated we didn’t give up the moon and stars for Harper until age 40. I might be the only happy Dodger fan right now. Yes Harper is going to put up monster stats for the next 5-6 seasons but what about the other half of that deal? He’s already a sub par defender so what about when he’s 34 and his defense is unbearable and his bat starts to ever so slowly slip? You will still have half a decade of an unmovable contract for a not so great clubhouse veteran. His bat would have been nice in the cleanup spot for us but his contract also may have very well hindered us from keeping Seager, Bellinger, Buehler, Urias, etc long term too. This team is still better than the Phillies and still can win it all.

      1. Damn. We should zoom in there and offer Mat 4 years @ $40 mil/year. I bet that would beat the Phils offer. By the way, Boras has told the press that Harper had a short term offer with an AAV of $45 mil/year. Wonder if that was Farhan or AF (or if it’s fake news).

      2. Everyone thinks the Phils were nuts to go 13 years. I’m thinking that Boras told them you need to beat Stanton’s $325 mil and probably assumed they would go 10/330. The Phils decided to spread it out over 13 years which basically saves them $8 mil per year in AAV. That will come in handy when they go after Trout.

    1. Hey Alex,
      No you’re not the only Dodger fan that is thrilled that we didn’t sign Harper and NO he will not put up monster #’s for 5-6 seasons maybe at the most very good #’s for 3-4 at very best. The rest of what you say is on point. A over rated asshole.
      Keep a eye on Verdugo he will be a super star and will be on base for the homer run happy crew that I wish could get a base hit or stop swinging out of their shoes.

    2. Nope, I am happy right along with you Alex. I said from the get go that he was not needed and he was not all by himself going to get the Dodgers that world series win they want so badly. He can take his lead glove and bad attitude to the Phillies and enjoy being with a manager he does not really like. The Dodgers offered the guy 45 per…..that’s not chump change. He took the years. I hope he enjoys them in a city where if he is not the second coming of Mike Schmidt, they are going to be all over him. Failure in Philly is not an option. He better put up over 40 dingers a year and 100 ribbies plus or those fans will just make him miserable. Now the Dodgers sit back and wait for the end of the 2020 season when Trout is a free agent. There is a guy worth spending money on.

      1. Trout may never get to free agency if Moreno has his way. I think that will all depend on whether the Phillies make it clear to him through back channels that they would have the money to go after him in two years. I have no idea if Trout’s second choice after the Phils would be to go back to Anaheim or if he would just put himself out on the open market. Don’t forget Mookie Betts is also a free agent after 2020, although the Red Sox will probably throw a huge extension out to him before that happens. There again, who knows if he wants to hit the open market. If either of those guys are out there, they are both the type of player that AF would make an exception for and give them whatever they want. Betts is a year younger than Trout.

  6. Glad it’s over. Screw Harper AND his agent. Now I can hope he puts up the 1+ WAR he did in his contract year. It will be easy to root again that guy.

    Phillies are better, by how many games? And hopefully they can’t later go after their homeboy Mike Trout. But….13 years? The AAV is $25M. This could prove to be a very good signing for Philadelphia. Now, pitching……

  7. I won’t deny I’m one of the fans who was hoping Harper would come to LA, but I would have NEVER wanted to sign him for 13 years. Philly better start lobbying for the DH in the NL.

  8. I can’t stand Bill Plaschke. He’s basically saying the roof is caving in on the team now because we didn’t sign Harper. Everything that guy writes is garbage. I’m even happier now that I know he’s mad we didn’t back the Brinks truck for Boras and Harper.

  9. I’m glad we didn’t sign Harper. He didn’t bet on himself, why should we! Why wouldn’t he take 4 years at that insane number of 45 mil. It’s like an opt out at 30. If he produced he’d get another 7-8 years at big bucks easily out performing his Philly number. If he doesn’t believe in himself why should we!

  10. This is an interesting read:


    Sounds like some thought went into the construction of this contract.

    We don’t know how this game will change over the next decade. They WILL have DH in the NL, and who knows, maybe they’ll have harder balls, metal bats, move the rubber back a foot, and allow certain supplements prescribed by doctor to athletes over 35. Harper could take up the Brady toxicless diet and body purification program and be able to hit until he’s 41.

    This could actually be a very good deal for the Phillies.

  11. Kemp had 2 doubles today and Puig hit his first spring homer. Grandal was 0-3 and his BA this spring is now .111. Adios Harper.; Enjoy Philly and those fans who are going to eat you alive the first time you screw up.

      1. Good thing he signed with the Phillies Dennis. It’ll be a much shorter drive for you to see him play than it would have been to drive to Dodger Stadium.

      2. Not sure I’ll be heading down in July. I might be doing some PR work for Governor Wolf over summer break—in addition to my full-time job. I’ll be finding out in April if I got the gig or not. If I get it, you might not be seeing me around here as much.

      3. That’s what I call planning ahead. Good luck on the potential gig with the Gov.

      4. You’re not lying Dennis. I literally thought we were going to get jumped when we went to the Saints Eagles game in Philly.

      5. I won’t go anywhere near a football game. At least the baseball fans are a little more civilized. Not by a whole lot, though. I lived right in the city for five years, so I know my way around a little bit. 😉

  12. Interesting that Friedman when asked about Miller considers him a major league player. I really did not know much about him. But he does have some pop. Hit as many as 30 HR’s as a big leaguer. Has not been that prolific the last 2 years.

  13. Well, now that the Harper circus is out of town, how many of you think the Dodgers should still trade Joc? Just wondering.

    1. All depends on what we could get back for him. I’d still like to see Verdugo get at least a half season of playing every day so we see what we have there. That probably won’t happen if Joc is on the roster. Of course that strategy could backfire if Verdugo doesn’t measure up and then we don’t have Joc either but I think I would be willing to chance it.

      1. I am not sure Verdugo will make it. Also, Joc is one of our main sources of power from the left side. They are not going to get that with Verdugo.

    1. If you have Belli in right and Pollock in center, that doesn’t leave any room for both of them.

    1. No he wasn’t Keith. He was with the Mariners. He did not go over to Tampa until November in 2015 in a trade. Friedman was already with the Dodgers by then. They signed another SS, Angelo Mora, yesterday. He was with them last year at OKC and Tulsa. Harper is going to wear #3 in Philly.

Leave a Reply