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2016 Dodgers review: Julio Urias

LHP was youngest Dodgers starting pitcher in 53 years

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Julio Urias entered the season with unreal expectations at a ridiculously young age, and managed to live up to them with the Dodgers in 2016.

What went right

A minuscule 1.10 ERA with Triple-A Oklahoma City and a scoreless streak of 27 innings, including a six-inning start against New Orleans on May 4 with no hits allowed, earned Urias a call The Show in May.

Urias made his major league debut on May 27 in New York against the Mets, at 19 years, 289 days the youngest Dodgers pitcher to start a game in 53 years, since Dick Calmus in 1963.

After struggling in his first two starts, Urias allowed more than three runs just once and more than two runs only three times the rest of the season, finishing with a 2.73 ERA and 77 strikeouts in his final 69⅓ innings.

Urias picked off five runners in his final four Triple-A starts in May, then despite only 77 big league innings led the majors with six pickoffs, thanks to a devastating move.

Urias got the win in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals, the youngest pitcher ever to win a postseason game, then in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Cubs was the youngest pitcher ever to start a postseason game.

What went wrong

Urias needed 81 pitches to record only eight outs in his major league debut, allowing three runs and four walks. Six days later he allowed three home runs and six runs in five innings in a loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

But after those three home runs allowed to the Cubs, Urias allowed only two home runs in the rest of the regular season.

In Game 4 of the NLCS, Urias couldn’t escape the fourth inning, allowing four runs in a Dodgers loss.

2016 particulars

Age: 19

Stats: 3.39 ERA, 3.17 FIP in 18 games, 15 starts; 84 K, 31 BB in 77 IP; 1.0 rWAR, 1.8 fWAR

Salary: $507,500, pro-rated for his time in the majors, roughly $275,000

Game of the year

On Aug. 21 in Cincinnati, following a pair of losses that saw Dodgers starters last a total of just 6⅔ innings, and in the midst of a month when LA starting pitchers averaged just 4.63 innings per start with a 5.48. ERA, Urias helped stabilize the depleted staff with six scoreless innings to beat the Reds, with six strikeouts and no walks.

Urias followed that up with another six-inning start. He was 3-0 when lasting six innings in 2016.

Roster status

Urias has 99 days of service time and two option years remaining.