The Dodgers made their second round of roster cuts after a 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. Top pitching prospects Julio Urias and Jose De Leon were the top names sent out; both were re-assigned to the Dodgers’ minor league camp. So was catcher Jack Murphy.
Urias, 19, and De Leon, 23, both flashed the potential that landed them on several preseason top-100 prospect lists. They also showed they weren’t immune to good hitting.
Urias, who was slowed by a groin issue early in camp, made only two Cactus League appearances. The left-hander allowed five hits and four runs in three innings. De Leon appeared in three games, all out of the bullpen. The right-hander allowed nine hits and five runs — three on home runs — in six innings.
With all the hype around the two young pitchers, it wasn’t inconceivable that the Dodgers would consider either one for their fifth starter’s job, once the injuries to Brett Anderson (back) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) took the two left-handers out of consideration. Anderson and Ryu are expected to pitch later this season, as is veteran right-hander Brandon McCarthy. The thought was that Urias and De Leon could rack up most of their allotted pitches in the major leagues early in the season, then rest once the veteran returned.
But Urias occasionally showed lapses of overthrowing, the same lapses that led him to post an 18.69 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City last year. The number of hard-hit balls De Leon allowed had to raise a red flag, too.
The seven cuts left the Dodgers with 47 players in camp.
Thomas faced one batter over the minimum in his three spring innings and remains a viable option to pitch multiple innings out of the Dodgers’ bullpen as needed.
Stripling looked fully recovered from Tommy John surgery two years ago. He allowed one hit and struck out six batters in six Cactus League innings.
Johnson collected nine singles and a double in 29 plate appearances (a .345 batting average). He also stole two bases in three attempts. He figures to start the season in Triple-A and could be called upon as an option at second base.
Murphy appeared in eight different games as a catcher but only got six at-bats. He collected one hit and a cult following:
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