Dodgers manager Dave Roberts in meeting with reporters on Saturday morning acknowledged that top pitching prospect Julio Urias has been discussed as a possible call up to the majors.
Urias for his part has done everything in his part to get noticed and to, as the metaphor goes, kick the door down, with the latest display of his talent six no-hit innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday. On the season the 19-year-old left-hander has dominated, with 29 strikeouts and three walks to go with his 1.88 ERA in 24 innings.
The club has purposely curbed his innings this season, holding him to five innings in most starts, extending the leash only in truly dominant situations like on Wednesday. The innings limit is in place partly because Urias only threw 80 innings in 2015, and that for this year the fewer innings he throws in the minors the more are available for the majors.
Whether it is later in the season or some time soon, Urias will probably pitch in relief at some point this season, with Roberts telling reporters on Saturday Urias could assume either role with the Dodgers, based on need. Though it seems like relief might be the first option, at least in the majors.
Roberts said Jharel Cotton and Jose De Leon have been discussed internally as well, but that Urias was "leading the discussions," as noted by Bill Shaikin of the LA Times.
From the beat crew in Toronto on Saturday:
"We're looking through options and (Julio) Urias is definitely at the top of the list," Dave Roberts says of his bullpen.— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) May 7, 2016
Roberts said Urias could become bullpen option.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 7, 2016
Roberts on calling up Urias as reliever: "Internally, there's talk."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 7, 2016
#Dodgers mgr Dave Roberts said Julio Urias is being considered as an option to strengthen bullpen— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 7, 2016
Roberts also said Urias is dynamic enough to impact team in bullpen or starting #Dodgers— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) May 7, 2016
Roberts: "We're looking at a lot of things and he's right at the top of the list"— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 7, 2016
In addition to Julio Urias, Dave Roberts said #Dodgers have discussed Jharel Cotton and Jose De Leon in 'pen. Urias is "leading discussions"— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 7, 2016
Urias doesn't turn 20 until Aug. 12. The last Dodgers pitcher to appear in a game as a teenager was Fernando Valenzuela, with 10 games in relief at age 19 in September and October 1980. The last teenage starter was Dick Calmus, on Aug. 23, 1963.
The Triple-A starting rotation will be altered with or without Urias, who was scheduled to start on Monday in Colorado Springs. That's because Mike Bolsinger, on the disabled list with a strained oblique, will make a rehab start for Oklahoma City on Saturday, per everybody on the beat.