Several hours before Saturday’s middle game against the Braves, news broke that Dodgers‘ lefty pitcher Julio Urias has accepted a 20-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.
Although he was never convicted of any charges in court, the MLB still felt the need to impose the suspension after its investigation concluded.
According to some reporters familiar with the situation, the five games that Urias served on administrative leave back in May will indeed count towards the 20-day suspension.
The Dodgers’ public relations department released the following statement on Saturday afternoon:
“While we are disappointed in what occurred and support the decision by the Commissioner’s Office, we are also encouraged that Julio has taken responsibility for his actions and believe he will take the necessary steps to learn from this incident.”
Originally, Urias was arrested at 9:30 PM on May 14 in Los Angeles after an incident at the Beverly Center, an upscale shopping area. Allegedly, a witness called the police claiming Urias was in the parking lot arguing with a female companion and shoved her to the ground. Cops responded and spoke with the woman, who denied anything physical took place, insisting it was nothing more than a heated verbal argument. However, because of the testimonies of multiple witnesses, the police proceeded with the arrest.
At the beginning of June, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office said it would not file any official charges against Urias so long as he completes certain requirements, including a 52-week domestic violence counseling program in person.
Here is the statement the Urias himself released through the MLBPA:
“Today I accepted a suspension from Major League Baseball and agreed not to exercise my right to appeal. It is important to me to not create uncertainty for my teammates as we approach the playoffs. Accepting the suspension is the best path to achieve that goal.
“Since May, I have been fully cooperating with both law enforcement and MLB. Although the authorities determined no charges of any kind were warranted, I accept full responsibility for what I believe was inappropriate conduct during the incident. Even in this instance where there was no injury or history of violence, I understand and agree that Major League players should be held to a higher standard. I hold myself to a higher standard as well. I have taken proactive steps to help me grow as a person on and off the field, and in my relationships, including attending counseling sessions.
“I am deeply grateful for all the support I’ve received during this challenging time. I look forward to proving it is well-deserved.”
Urias was one of the more dependable pieces of a Los Angeles bullpen that face much scrutiny over the course of the 2019 season. The 23-year-old native of Mexico made 27 appearances—21 in relief—so far this year, tallying a 4-3 record with a 2.53 ERA and 67 strikeouts over 67-2/3 innings of work.
To fill Urias’ vacant spot on the 25-man roster, the team recalled 29-year-old righty Casey Sadler from Triple-A Oklahoma City.