Julio Urias set for MLB debut with Dodgers in a way that makes sense

The Dodgers announced today that they will promote top pitching prospect Julio Urias from Oklahoma City (AAA), and that he will make his major-league debut against the Mets on Friday opposite Jacob deGrom.

At 19, Urias will become the youngest pitcher to debut in the bigs since Felix Hernandez and the youngest Dodgers pitcher to debut since, yes, Fernando Valenzuela.

In AAA this year, he has a 1.10 ERA in 41 innings, striking out 44 batters and walking only eight, and he’s leaving behind a scoreless innings streak of 27. So by all accounts, Urias is ready for this. Heck, by some accounts he’s been ready to pitch in the majors for two seasons already, but the problem has always been safely building both his innings total and his pitch count.

I’ve already made the case that bringing Urias up as a reliever could end up stunting his development, and that since Urias has yet to eclipse six innings or 82 pitches in a start this year, putting him in the rotation over the long haul in 2016 also seems like a bad idea given the state of the bullpen. That said, a spot start (or three) in the majors to give the rotation some much-needed rest seems like a quality way to work him into the fold, and that appears to be exactly the Dodgers’ plan here.

Urias is taking the turn of Alex Wood, who is dealing with triceps soreness and is going get an extra three days rest before taking the ball against the Cubs on Monday. For his part, Wood has looked excellent of late, so I doubt he’s being replaced in the rotation, and this seems like more a move to hold them over until either Ross Stripling can be promoted again or until Hyun-Jin Ryu is ready to come off the disabled list.

Thankfully, it seems like the Dodgers found a way to make things work for both the present-day team and the development of Urias as a starter.

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Thanks to Minor League Dodgers for the video.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
I get paid millions by the Dodgers. MILLIONS!