Dodgers tab Julio Urias to start Saturday; could Jose De Leon follow?

Julio Urias

Julio Urias will make his 12th start of the season for the Dodgers on Saturday, and his second against the Chicago Cubs. (Getty Images)

Is this the weekend the Dodgers unveil the future of their starting rotation?

Manager Dave Roberts said that Julio Urias will get his 12th start of the season Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Right-hander Kenta Maeda will start Monday against the Colorado Rockies.

That puts Sunday’s assignment squarely on the shoulders of “TBD,” the staff workhorse in a season that’s seen 14 different pitchers start a game for the Dodgers.

One of the 14, right-hander Brock Stewart, was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. Roberts said that Stewart will serve as an emergency long reliever in case Urias or Bud Norris need a breather today or tomorrow.

If he doesn’t appear today or tomorrow, Stewart could win up pitching Sunday opposite Cubs lefty Jon Lester. The rookie right-hander hasn’t pitched since a five-inning start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Aug. 19. He’s allowed 15 runs in three major league starts (0-2) this year. In nine starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Stewart went 4-0 with a 2.49 ERA.

An intriguing alternative is Jose De Leon, perhaps the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect still in the minor leagues. The 24-year-old right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.86 earned-run average at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Since being blown up for seven runs in 1 ⅓ innings on July 25, De Leon has a 1.59 ERA in five starts. He’s held batters to a .472 OPS in that span, while averaging more than six innings (and more than six strikeouts) per game.

Stewart ceded his number 51 jersey today to veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz, who was acquired Thursday from the Philadelphia Phillies. He’ll wear number 48 instead.

This entry was posted in JP on the Dodgers and tagged , , , , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

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.