Photo by: Dustin Nosler Photo by: Dustin Nosler

Stop it: Julio Urias isn’t making his MLB debut in 2014

Anytime a prospect does well, the fan base wants said prospect in the majors as soon as possible. Patience is definitely not a virtue for most, and the Julio Urias situation is no exception.

As the end of the minor-league season is upon us (Sunday), many folks are wondering if Urias is a potential call-up candidate. Most of them are fans on Twitter, but an article by Jim Callis at MLB Pipeline today really took me by surprise.

The headline reads, “Pipeline Perspectives: Urias worthy of a callup.” The subheadline reads, “Though promotion is unlikely, 18-year-old lefty could help Dodgers in stretch run.” At least there’s that. Let me peel back the curtain a bit. Writers at big, professional websites and news outlets don’t write headlines for their articles/stories. So, when Mike writes a really awesome piece for ESPN Insider and the headline makes you cock your head like a dog, don’t blame Mike. I’m assuming that’s what happened in this situation.

Keith Law also chimed in on Twitter. Thanks to Dave/Bob/Justin — whichever name he’s using this week because he’s clearly one person — who brought it to Law’s attention.

Yes.

Also yes.

Callis does throw in plenty of qualifiers in his article, including this one:

“Of course, the chances that the Dodgers will bring up Urias are roughly equivalent to the odds that the franchise will move back to Brooklyn. The reasons are many: he’s barely 18, he’s three levels away from the Majors, they don’t want to add more stress on his arm, he doesn’t have to be protected on the 40-man roster until after the 2016 season.”

Exactly. The biggest reason is the number 18. Urias is 18 years old. There’s no doubt he could pitch in the majors — and probably have some success — this season, but what’s the rush? Yeah, the Dodgers have J.P. Howell and “lefty” specialist Jamey Wright in the bullpen right now, but Paco Rodriguez is on the mend. If he can come back healthy, and there’s not much of a reason to doubt it, the Dodgers will be just fine. And, as Daniel pointed out in the comments section, Urias is still younger than Clayton Kershaw was when he was drafted. Just think about that for a minute.

I’m the biggest prospect nut you know, and even I don’t want Urias recalled now. Hell, I’d be hesitant to promote him in September of next year, just because arms like this don’t come around often. There is no need to rush him. Urias has one more start this season — Friday in Lake Elsinore. The Dodgers have started to stretch Urias out, as he’s thrown no fewer than 80 pitches in his last three starts. He’s at 82 2/3 innings, up from 54 1/3 innings in his debut season. I thought he might get some consideration for the Arizona Fall League (and he still could), but to expect an 18-year-old to come up and positively contribute to a World Series contending team is unrealistic.

While we’re at it, Corey Seager isn’t coming up either. I got questions on Twitter after it was announced he was going to the Arizona Fall League about him coming up to the Dodgers. I’ll say this: Urias would be recalled before Seager, but neither of them will be recalled.

There was one really awesome quote from Callis’ story from Vice President, Player Development De Jon Watson.

“‘When I went to watch him pitch in the Midwest League, my hands started sweating. We had Clayton Kershaw in the Midwest League during my first year with the Dodgers, and my hands didn’t sweat with him. I’ve never seen a kid this talented, this young. It’s crazy.

“‘When Urias was in the Midwest League, he could have gone to Double-A if you took his age out of it and just went with his ability and stuff. His ability to read swings and to adjust what hitters are trying to do to him is impressive.'”

Love it.

Don’t worry, folks. Urias will be up before you know it. But his arm isn’t ready for the added stress of a pennant run. He wouldn’t be what Francisco Rodriguez was to the Angels in 2002. Very few 18-year-old pitchers have been successful in the majors. That isn’t a coincidence. Maybe Urias is the next Fernando Valenzuela or Felix Hernandez (both made their debuts in their age-19 seasons). He could best both of them by debuting in 2015, but let’s put to bed the idea of seeing him in a Dodger uniform in 2014.


About

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called “Dugout Blues.” He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.


659 comments
KMT59
KMT59

Looking forward to a Kershaw masterpiece again tonight

Omer (beercoozie)
Omer (beercoozie)

Time for me to do actual work. See you guys at some point during the game.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@KMT59 somewhere up by the front of the parking lot my dad is in the car with a bottle of Mad dog in a paper bag smoking a cigarette. While moms is yelling at him

Hoze
Hoze

@TheDeliMan I didnt play habitually for years before this year, but Planetside2 changed that. Its a PC game. Super addicting.

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@KMT59 >> starting to mellow out

Then you don't belong here.  :)

Jacopo (How is this a bad plan!)
Jacopo (How is this a bad plan!)

@P_F_P I have one bone to pick with the article. In my opinion, a collapse implies some sort of under-performance, such as being 9 games up with 10 games to go and finishing 0-10. 


The 1942 Brooklyn Dodgers didn't collapse. They finished up 25-17, which is nearly .600 ball. Unfortunately, the Cards went 38-6 over the same period. That's not really a collapse. It's more of a "well, fuck." 

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@Hoze my tigers friend is bitching about price being a total waste. lol

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@Hoze Wow, that didn't take long.  (I mean boos in his fifth appearance, not referring to getting chased in the third.)

0ptimus
0ptimus

@Hoze 9 straight hits to open the 3rd. That's a bummer.

Turner_for_Treasury
Turner_for_Treasury

@Purple Drank @Hoze Lord. They gave up a lot of bit parts to get him, although Smyly is pitching very well in TB. And they have him all next year to replace Scherzer. It was an amazing trade for them.

Hoze
Hoze

@P_F_P @Hoze  he was and still is but I cant blame the Dodgers for not making the trade. Stanton is worth the same deal, and the entire circus of baseball rumblings will involve talk of his future possibly being tied to these prospects. 

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@P_F_P @Hoze He's actually pitched like the ace he is in his previous four starts with the Tigers.  He was worth what they got for him.  NOT two of Joc/Seager/Urias though.

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@Turner_for_Treasury @Purple Drank @Hoze I agree.  Not only was it an amazing trade for them, but Price's previous four starts for them were thoroughly excellent.

Sounds like Tigers fans tend toward almost as much masochism and self-hatred as those of a certain team in the SFBay area!

Hoze
Hoze

@P_F_P @Hoze Price for a year and a half is not worth 2 top prospects and change?

Hoze
Hoze

@TheDeliMan @Hoze I have no idea. Never heard of Wine. I never played the 1st installment but the PS2 is pretty graphic intensive. If you can keep FPS respectable (20?) the game is super exciting. 

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@Hoze @P_F_P >> Price for a year and a half is not worth 2 top prospects and change?

That depends upon how critical those prospects are to your future plans.  I would say "very" for Seager, and close to that for Urias.

DeliMan of Baseball Related Sorrow
DeliMan of Baseball Related Sorrow

@Hoze @TheDeliMan I have an Imac.  I actually don't use Wine (Crossover is Mac specific) for running specific programs or games.  Rather than creating a virtual machine it emulates windows only to the end of launching and running your program