Julio Urias Proving Me Wrong (Somewhat)
Four weeks ago I wrote a post stating that the Dodgers were making a big mistake beginning 19 year old rookie Julio Urias in the starting rotation, rather than in middle relief. Indeed, Urias got bombed in his second start against the Cubs also, but since then he’s run off four consecutive strong starts.
However, I’m still not convinced that Dodgers’ management really knows what they are doing. Urias’ recent success says more about the youngster’s talent level and his own self confidence than anything else.
The thing is, there isn’t a lot of information out there on whether a 19 year old in today’s game is going to be able to handle starting in a big media town like Los Angeles the moment he reaches the Show. None of Urias’ previous promotions through the Dodgers organization is anything like suddenly pitching in front of 40,000 fans with the nation’s media eyes suddenly focused squarely upon you.
Urias seems to have been able to handle it in spite of a couple of very rough starts, but I very much doubt the fact that the Dodgers really had any way to know how Urias would handle it until he actually did.
Almost every article I’ve read about Urias from the moment he was called up through now says that he won’t be in the starting rotation for long, because the Dodgers don’t want to kill their tender golden goose by overworking him. If that’s the case, what was the point of having him make his ten or twelve 2016 starts the moment he was promoted in late May, rather than initiating him with lower stress middle relief duties at first, and then getting those 10 or 12 starts a little later in the season?
The only thing I can think of is that it might be easier for the Dodgers to trade for pitching help closer to the trade deadline and they want Urias to bridge the gap until then. However, with the Dodgers needing a couple of new starters, I kind of doubt that Urias’ starts now are worth any more they’d have been coming a month later in the season.
The Dodgers’ rush to throw Urias into the pressure cooker still smacks of desperation to me.