The long rehab from shoulder surgery in 2017 saw Julio Urías get back on a major league mound in 2018. More than half of his innings with the Dodgers came in the postseason and there was plenty to build on for 2019.
What went right
Over a year after season-ending surgery, Urías started his rehab assignment July 30. It didn’t matter that he gave up seven runs in 11 2⁄3 innings during his time across three levels of the minor leagues.
Pitching in competitive games this season was a big milestone to put in the rear view. Getting back to the major league level was icing on the cake.
The Dodgers took it easy on the lefty in August and September, allowing several days in between appearances. The team eventually brought Urías up for three games with the big club where he tossed four scoreless innings.
Given the amount of time in between appearances, it was somewhat surprising the team would put the left-hander on a playoff roster. But they did just that after the Dodgers took care of the Braves in the first round.
“The value of Julio to come in and get one to four or five outs, for us, with our bullpen construction -- we feel comfortable with that,” manager Dave Roberts said of the move to add Urías to the NLCS roster. “We like his pitch mix, the weapons that he has to attack the lefties and the righties in their lineup.”
The 22 year-old would also make the Fall Classic, allowing two runs over 6 1⁄3 innings in seven games, four in the NLCS and three in the World Series.
What went wrong
Urías gave up a solo homer in the seventh inning of Game 1 in the NLCS, that ended up being the winning run. When Jesus Aguilar hit the solo shot, it put the Brewers comfortably on top by the score of 6-1.
The Dodgers rallied with three in the eighth and one in the ninth, but fell short with the tying run on third to end the game.
Outside of that there wasn’t much negative for a season where the Dodgers weren’t supposed to count on their young left-hander at all. Now Urías can focus on building back to starting next season.
Stats: 4 IP, 0 runs, 1 hit, 7 strikeouts
Game of the year
In the regular season, it was September 23 against the Padres. Urías came in with an outstanding fastball and struck out four of the seven batters he faced over two innings.
Game 3 of the World Series deserves consideration for the postseason, taking into account that it was his third appearance in four days. Urías pitched a scoreless 17th inning in the Dodgers only win of the series.
Urías has one year and 123 days of service time, with one option year remaining.