What might Julio Urias’ role with the Dodgers look like?


Julio Urias

Julio Urias ended the Single-A regular season on a 15 1/3 scoreless-inning streak. (Associated Press photo)

Julio Urias‘ manager at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, P.J. Forbes, offered a glowing report to MiLB.com about the 18-year-old pitcher Friday:

I’ve never had an 18-year-old that I’ve played with or managed with that kind of polish with four pitches. You watch him throw a bullpen [session], it’s special. You watch him attack hitters during a game, it’s special. There’s really not enough adjectives to explain or talk about his development this year because it just seems to continue to grow.

From where he started in April, with his struggles through May, as he continued to get better until now, like tonight, he just made it look really, really easy.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was a bit less verbose when asked if Urias had been discussed as a candidate for a September call-up.

“I haven’t heard his name,” Mattingly said.

Urias has clearly mastered Single-A competition. Since July 4, he’s allowed three earned runs over 36 1/3 innings in nine appearances — a 0.74 ERA in the hitter-friendly California League.

But the National League — in the middle of a September pennant race, no less?

“He may come up and tear it up (or) it may not be fair to him,” Mattingly said. “He could be good, could be fine. It could set him back.”

Clearly, the organizational overseers believe that calling up Urias in September amounts to rushing the pitcher.

What’s more, Mattingly said that Urias wouldn’t be forced to come out of the bullpen after pitching as a starter his entire career to this point. If he reaches the majors with the Dodgers, it’ll be as a starter.

“We would never do that,” Mattingly said. “We’d only use him when we know we’re going to use him.”

As an example, Mattingly cited right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who was 21 years old when he debuted with the Dodgers in 2011.

“He was a starter, he wasn’t a reliever,” Mattingly said. “We used him out of the ‘pen, but we’d give him a clean inning. We’d give him an inning ahead of time to get him going.”

That at least offers some idea of what a September call-up for Urias might look like. It just won’t happen this September.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.