Nationals @ Dodgers June 22, 2016: Julio Urias’ Last Start For Awhile? (EDIT: Nope)

7:10 p.m. PT
Los Angeles
 CF  Taylor  2B  Utley
 LF  Werth  SS  Seager
 RF  Harper  3B  Turner
 2B  Murphy  1B  Gonzalez
C  Ramos  LF  Thompson
 1B  Zimmerman  CF  Pederson
 3B  Rendon  C  Grandal
 SS  Espinosa RF  Puig
Ross (R)
Urias (L)

Before Julio Urias‘ start against the Brewers, it was strongly suggested that he would make two more starts before there was a change to his workload. Urias followed that announcement with the best start of his young career, tossing five shutout innings with eight strikeouts and one walk. He also looked the part of a major league starter with significantly improved command. To the untrained eye, it looks like he’s making adjustments. Urias currently has 63 innings pitched this season, and is about 20 short of tying his career high. While the Dodgers have not stated what Urias’ final inning target is, but it’s hard to imagine it being beyond 110 or so. A shutdown now would prevent that from being reached early.

On the other hand, the innings now matter just as much in the standings as innings in September, and right now the Dodgers are having difficulty filling out five starting pitcher slots. So far, Friday’s starter (a replacement for the struggling/ailing Mike Bolsinger) has not been named. They could skip that slot for now because of tomorrow’s off day, but they still need to bring somebody up eventually. Frankie Montas is now on the disabled list due to irritation in the area where he had his surgery, and Jose De Leon is still building his stamina after missing the first two and a half months of the minor league season. Jharel Cotton may get an extended shot in Bolsinger’s slot, but somebody else may need to take Urias’ place. It seems like leaving Urias in the rotation until Montas is healed may be the better course of action.

In the meantime, Urias will go for the sweep of the Nationals against Joe Ross, who has quietly been a capable number three starter for the Nationals since being promoted last season. His strikeout rate is slightly down this year, as is his ground ball rate, but he has a better ERA and a similar offense-adjusted FIP. Ross has added a fourseam fastball to his repertoire this season, reducing his two-seam usage. He still throws a very good slider and occasionally mixes in a change-up. He tops out around 95.

The Dodgers acquired Layne Somsen on waivers this afternoon, transferring Chin-hui Tsao to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster. Somsen made his major league debut in the Reds bullpen this year, and the fact that he couldn’t stick in that historically bad group probably says what it needs to about his future. He does have a track record of decent (if uninspiring) numbers in the minors. Somsen relies on a cutter-curveball combo in the lower-90s and 80s respectively.

EDIT: Dave Roberts stated yesterday that Urias will get one more start, so the above rant is out of date!

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About Daniel Brim

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Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.