Los Angeles Dodgers Recall Julio Urias; Will Start Thursday
Following a fruitful scouting trip to Mexico in June of 2012, the same trip in which they snagged Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers produced the then-15-year-old left-handed phenom Julio Urias.
After posting a 2.63 ERA and averaging 10.5 strikeouts per inning in four years in the minors – not to mention riding a 27-inning Triple-A scoreless streak – Urias made what was a disappointing major league debut Friday against the New York Mets. He allowed three runs and four walks and lasting shy of three innings.
Nerves seemed to be a factor as the 19-year-old failed to throw first-pitch-strikes to 13 of the first 17 hitters (though Chase Utley seemed to serve as a lightning rod for hostile Mets’ fans, Citi field is perhaps not the most welcoming of venues for a visiting, debuting pitcher). The following day, Urias was sent back down to the minors, but not before making history as the youngest Dodgers pitcher to debut since 1943.
MLB rules stipulate that unless an injury on the major league roster occurs, players cannot be recalled to the big leagues until ten days after they were sent down to the minors, meaning it was likely that Urias would be able to get comfortable back in Triple-A Oklahoma – Dodgers fans had seen the last of him for a while.
As of Tuesday, just three days after his demotion, the young lefty has been called back up, this time to face the Cubs on Thursday. Urias’ break here was a teammate’s misfortune: Alex Woods was placed on the disabled list after throwing in his last two starts despite an injury to the left-triceps sustained in mid-May.
The Cubs, who have a lower team batting average both versus lefties and, oddly enough, at home, will face the 19-year-old lefty at home Thursday. Throwing strikes early in the count will be key for Urias – the Cubs hitters have so far posted a .336 team batting average when in a 1-0 count, which jumps to .551 at 2-0.
Dodgers fans can only hope that Urias’ trajectory will be the opposite of teammate and fellow souvenir from the June 2012 scouting trip Yasiel Puig; that is, since Puig’s impressive debut – he went 2 for 4 with a put-out to end the game – the outfielder and former top prospect has succumbed to a steady decline in productivity.
On Thursday, Urias will look to begin his upward trajectory, having been handed a second chance to grow from prospect to producer.
(Los Angeles Dodgers Recall Julio Urias )