Dodgers @ Cubs June 2, 2016: Julio Urias, take two

Julio Urias‘ first taste of the majors on Friday night didn’t go exactly as planned. He was facing a team that went to the World Series last year. Now, he’s facing a team that might very well win the World Series this year.

Dodgers
Cubs
11:20 a.m. PT
Chicago
2B
Utley
CF
Fowler
SS
Seager
RF
Heyward
3B
Turner
3B
Bryant
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Rizzo
CF
Pederson
LF
Soler
RF
Thompson
SS
Russell
LF
Crawford
2B
Baez
C
Ellis
C
Montero
P
Urias (L)
P
Kendricks (R)

He’s technically taking Kenta Maeda‘s turn in the rotation, as Maeda was pushed to Friday, but he’s replacing Alex Wood on the roster. Chad looked at the Wood injury implications earlier today.

The Mets have a solid offense on paper, but they’ve been slightly worse than league-average this season (wRC+) as a whole. Urias is facing the Cubs, who are 10 percent better than league-average and have a ridiculous 11.7 percent walk rate as a team. For a kid who struggled mightily with command/control in his first start and had his share of hiccups in the minors with it, Urias is going to need to be on his game today.

Urias is still on a 90-pitch/6-inning limit for today. That figures to be the case for as long as he’s in the starting rotation. Here’s hoping he mixes in some more off-speed pitches today and doesn’t opt for as many fastballs.

Yasmani Grandal caught Urias’ first start (the right decision), but A.J. Ellis getting him this time around. And no, Grandal catching Urias last time isn’t the reason the teenager struggled.

While Dave Roberts announced earlier this week Ellis would catch Urias, Daniel raises a good point here:

He is coming off shoulder surgery and actually got off to a hot start this season. But since April 24, Grandal has been quite bad on offense: .146/.222/.315. He also has an average exit velocity of 89.1 MPH on 53 batted ball events. Before this, he had a 97.3 MPH average exit velocity (22 BBE). But what might be most most alarming is his 9:29 walk-to-strikeout ratio. He has some of the best plate discipline in the organization, but he hasn’t shown it in the last month-plus.

If he is hurt, perhaps the Dodgers need to figure out a way to get Austin Barnes back in the majors. He’s, predictably, handling Triple-A pitching with ease (despite no home runs), and his bat could help pick up the offensive slack coming from behind the dish.

Some updates:

Yasiel Puig‘s hamstring is good enough to pinch-hit, but not to start. I’m not even sure I’d mess with him pinch-hitting unless absolutely necessary. He dealt with injuries to both hamstrings last season. The prospect of Scott Van Slyke coming back (even if it means Puig goes to the disabled list) is exciting (and yes, that’s where we are with this Dodger offense … SVS coming back is genuinely exciting).

No word when Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his next rehab start. Sigh.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
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 is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. 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.