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Dodgers notes: Urias viewed as starter, Toles to miss Spring Training

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With almost the entire Dodgers team having officially reported, here is the latest news and reports out of Camelback Ranch.

Andrew Toles to miss Spring Training

The biggest piece to come out of Arizona this week is the fact that Andrew Toles will not be reporting to Spring Training. According to Dave Roberts, it’s due to a personal matter. That matter is unknown at this time.

Roberts said it was a ‘surprise’ when he learned that Toles would not be showing up. There’s no current timetable as to when he is expected to rejoin the team.

After spending much of 2018 in triple-A, Toles was expected to be one of the players competing for one of the extra outfield spots this year.

Walker Buehler will be ready for season

Though he has been held back so far this spring, Walker Buehler is expected to be ready for the beginning of the season. Roberts said the team is “slow-playing” him after last season’s workload. He is expected to throw his first bullpen on Wednesday.

Mark Prior, who will be serving as the pitching coach until Rick Honeycutt returns, spoke with the LA Times about what the team is expecting from Buehler. “We’ll just talk with him, just kind of engage and see how he looks,” Prior said. “I think once we get him going and get him in his bullpens we’ll have a better idea. But he’s ready to go. He’s looked good the last couple days. So it’s going to be fun to watch him get going again.”

Julio Urias expectations

One of the bigger questions for the 2019 season will be how the club handles 22-year-old Julio Urias. After undergoing surgery in 2017, the southpaw missed over a year. He returned in September, appearing in three games with LA, as well as seven postseason games.

When asked about if Urias will come out of the bullpen to start the season, Roberts said “we’re really kind of not there yet”. He also mentioned that Urias will be on an innings limit, but the number has yet to be decided.

“We certainly see him as a starter,” Roberts said. “Right now, as we stand here today, is to build him up as a starter. So many things can potentially happen. I do think that with the workload he’s had the last couple of years, we’ve got to be mindful of that.”

Other notes

  • Though it hasn’t been announced, Clayton Kershaw is expected to be named the Opening Day starter. “It’s not official, but I think we know.” Roberts said. It would be Kershaw’s ninth consecutive Opening Day start
  • Ross Stripling is dealing with an upper respiratory condition
  • Corey Seager is doing everything on the field but throwing across the diamond. He’s now been stretched out to 135 feet, taking batting practice, and running the bases