The Los Angeles Dodgers today selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Julio Urias from Triple-A Oklahoma City, with the 19-year-old set to make his Major League debut as the Dodgers’ starting pitcher tonight at New York when they face the Mets.
Urias is one of the elite prospects in all of baseball, and is blessed with electric stuff. Due to his youth, he will be on a strict innings limit this season, as he builds up his arm strength while developing into a future starter.
Urias, who was originally signed by Los Angeles as an amateur free agent on Aug. 17, 2012 out of Mexico, entered the 2016 season rated by MLB.com as the top left-handed pitching prospect and the fourth-best overall prospect in baseball.
Urias (pronounced oo-REE-ahs) last pitched on May 20 vs. Salt Lake (Angels), striking out five and allowing three hits in 5.0 scoreless innings (64 pitches) in the OKC Dodgers’ 1-0 win, and enters tonight’s start riding a 27.0 scoreless-inning streak, last allowing a run April 22.
Urias went 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA in eight games (seven starts) with Triple-A Oklahoma City and at the time of his promotion, he led the Pacific Coast League in ERA (1.10), WHIP (0.78) and opponents’ batting average (.176), while tying for 10th with 44 strikeouts against just eight walks in 41.0 innings.
At 19 years, 289 days, Urias will be the Dodgers’ youngest starting pitcher since Dick Calmus, who took the mound at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 23, 1963 vs. Milwaukee at 19 years, 228 days. He will also become the youngest Dodger to make his Major League debut since Adrian Beltre (19 years, 78 days on his debut, June 24, 1998 vs. LAA), and the youngest Dodger to make his debut as a starting pitcher since Rex Barney (18 years, 242 days on his debut vs. the Cubs on Aug. 18, 1943).
To create room on the 40-man roster, Los Angeles transferred right-handed pitcher Yimi Garcia (right biceps soreness) to the 60-day disabled list. Yesterday, the club optioned left-hander Luis Avilan to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers could use help both in their starting rotation and in their bullpen, as they are lacking a reliable set-up man for closer Kenley Jansen. Given such needs, it will not be surprising if Urias' role changes later in the season from that of a starter to a reliever, especially as his innings quota approaches.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services