Julio Urias makes rare relief appearance for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Dodgers pitching prospect Julio Urias threw three innings in relief for Triple-A Oklahoma City without allowing a run today. It was his first regular season appearance out of the bullpen in two years.

Urias, 19, has thrown 18 innings this season after throwing 80 ⅓ across four levels last year. His innings will be limited again, perhaps to around 100. By shifting him to the bullpen at least temporarily, the Dodgers can preserve his innings count until later in the season.

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Oklahoma City Dodgers announce their starting rotation.

Today was the first day of workouts in Oklahoma City for the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate. The OKC Dodgers are expected to release a formal roster tomorrow.

In the meantime, we have a starting rotation: Zach Lee, Jharel Cotton, Jeremy Kehrt, Carlos Frias and Julio Urias.

Via The Oklahoman’s website, here’s why Lee is pitching on Opening Day on Thursday:

Lee, 24, was OKC’s rotation anchor last season, going 11-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 19 starts.
He battled to the final week for a spot in the major league rotation, but ultimately lost out to rookie Ross Stripling.

His work and schedule made him the choice for Thursday.
“It’s just coming out of spring training it’s the way they have him lined up,” [manager Bill] Haselman said. “I don’t think it was a decision over anybody in particular. It’s just a process of what falls into place.”

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The Dodgers are creatively staggering the ‘innings clocks’ among their young pitchers.

Julio Urias

Dodgers pitching prospect Julio Urias, center, could see his innings clock expire before a September call-up is possible. (Getty Images)

Along with today’s announcement that Ross Stripling is the Dodgers’ fifth starter came a bit of insight into the team’s strategy for monitoring starting pitcher workloads.

Stripling threw 71 ⅓ innings last season after his June return from Tommy John rehab. He’s on an innings limit this year that the team isn’t willing to disclose; Stripling guessed it would fall somewhere in the 100 to 150-inning range.

Regardless, the decision to start Stripling’s “innings clock” right away has consequences for the other starting pitchers on the organizational depth chart.

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Dodgers’ second round of cuts claims Julio Urias, Jose De Leon.

Julio Urias

Dodgers pitching prospect Julio Urias, center, was re-assigned to minor league camp on Thursday. (Getty Images)

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.

Infielder Micah Johnson and pitchers Ian Thomas, Ross Stripling and Yaisel Sierra were all re-assigned to the Dodgers’ minor league camp.

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