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Julio Urias to start Tuesday for Dodgers

NLCS - Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

PHOENIX — Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias will make his spring training debut on Tuesday, starting the club’s fourth game of the spring, against the Rockies at Salt River Fields, manager Dave Roberts announced on Sunday morning.

The 20-year-old left-hander looked impressive in throwing two innings of live batting practice on Thursday on the back fields. The Dodgers this season will manage the workload of Urias, who threw 127 innings in the majors, minors and postseason combined in 2016.

Even though Urias is undoubtedly one of the club’s five best starters (likely one of the best two or three, in fact), the Dodgers know they won’t be able to slot the left-hander in the rotation from day one and expect him to keep pitching every fifth day through October. The only question is when any such break(s) will come, to artificially limit his innings.

One option is to start Urias in extended spring training, though that could be dependent on the health of the remainder of the rotation as well. No matter where Urias will be in April, he will spend February and March still building up his innings as a starter, preparing for his regular season, whenever it begins.

"All of this has been a learning experience for Julio. He has high aptitude,” Roberts said. “The more he gets exposed to this environment, the better he gets, and that's what he has done.

"He's a big part of what we're trying to do going forward.”