It feels like such a long time since Julio Urías made his Major League debut for the Dodgers at the young age of 19. Urías who at the time was seen by many to be the future ace of the pitching staff has had a long journey since that debut.
In his first couple appearances, the Mexican born Southpaw was roughed up by opposing hitters and was shuffled between Triple-A and the big league club. In 2017, his season was cut short as he tore the anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder causing him to miss most of the 2018 season to undergo surgery and rehab. Even after taking over 13 months to recover from such an injury, Urias came back with a vengeance to earn a late-season call up that same year firing 4 scoreless innings in September.
Julio Urias just struck out the side in his first inning at Dodger Stadium since May 2017. His last pitch was 97. Whoa.
— Joe Davis (@Joe_Davis) September 23, 2018
He didn’t stop there as he earned a spot on the Dodgers NLCS and World Series roster where he allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers as well as one run in 3 innings against the Boston Red Sox. In 2019, he appeared in 37 games (8 starts) posting a 2.49 ERA with 85 strikeouts despite missing time due to a 20 game suspension and paid administrative leave.
Urías is still just 23 years old (turning 24 in August) and has the talent to still steer his career back in the right direction. He has shown flashes of dominance that allowed him to make his debut so young but they’ve always been shortlived due to obstacles in his path. Coming into the year, before the pandemic, a slimmed-down Urías was fighting for a rotation spot and was ultimately locked into it by Dave Roberts early in Spring Training.
No surprises in #Dodgers season-opening rotation. Dave Roberts said it will be Clayton Kershaw followed by Walker Buehler then David Price, Julio Urias and Alex Wood
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 9, 2020
When asked about being able to contribute to the team in the rotation this year, Urías expressed his goal.
“Just like any other season, it’s important and go out there with the mentality of trying to win the World Series. No matter how long the season is, I’m going to try to help my team.”
Now, in a shortened 60-game season, with no limitations, and no other obstacles in his path, 2020 is the year for him to truly leave his mark on the league. His ability to miss bats is elite due to his four legitimate pitches and being armed with the best pickoff move in baseball shouldn’t hurt. He threw 3 2/3 innings allowing 2 hits, 2 unearned runs, as well as 4 K’s/2 BB earlier this year in Spring Training. Now in Spring Training 2.0, his most recent appearance in an intrasquad game saw him post 3 shutout innings allowing two hits, one being a double to the red-hot Seager, and punching out 2. The former “Teenager” looks locked in and ready to take on any challenge he faces this season. Fans, and I’m sure Urías himself, have been waiting for a chance like this for him to live up to his potential.
How do you think the season will play out for Julio? Let us know in the comments!