On Thursday, they’ll finally count.
Getting the start for the Dodgers was Julio Urias. Though he had already delivered a solid spring, the 22-year-old saved his best performance for last, as he threw four perfect innings, striking out four while doing it.
“I don’t think that we could’ve asked for anything more from Julio this spring,” Dave Roberts said following the outing. “I thought he threw the ball the best he’s thrown all spring. He’s all set.”
Urias threw 42 pitches, and then threw in the bullpen following the outing. For the spring, he threw 15 2⁄3 innings, striking out 15 and posting an ERA of 1.72.
“What he’s been through the last couple of years, he stayed the course,” Roberts said. “Get healthy, kill the rehab. He’s focused, he’s really focused. It’s fun to watch him as a young player to just kind of mature, and just be healthy. He’s open to whatever role. Whatever happens after that we’ll see. Being healthy, throwing the baseball the way he is, it’s a good thing for us.”
Originally, the plan was for Urias to be a member of the Dodgers bullpen, being used in piggyback situations to go multiple innings when needed. With him still recovering from surgery, and a crowded starting rotation, Roberts wanted to ease his young pitcher back. Though, it looks like there’s no set number on the innings we can expect him to throw this season.
“That’s the thing for us, there’s no hard number,” Roberts said. “We have a baseline of what we want. If he’s throwing well, he’s strong, he feels good, the player tells you with how they respond. We see him continuing to pitch well.”
After being perfect through four, and having a relatively low pitch count, Urias was replaced by Dylan Floro in the fifth. Roberts was asked if he would’ve handled the situation differently had this been a regular season start.
“When you’re in a regular season game and he’s throwing the ball well and being efficient, there’s always that urge to get another one [inning],” Roberts said. “We have to really be mindful. When he’s out there, he makes us look good.”
Not only did Urias end the spring on a high note, so did Cody Bellinger.
That homer was his fourth of the spring, and it came against a left-handed pitcher.
“I think that all spring, he’s [Bellinger] had some really good at-bats against lefties,” Roberts said. “Honestly, I’m not too concerned about Cody against left-handed pitching. He’s an everyday player.”
Another bright young arm for the Dodgers this spring was Dustin May. Only 21, May spent 2018 in Rancho Cucamonga, as well as Tulsa. He went a combined 9-5 with a 3.39 ERA. May threw 3 1⁄3 innings of relief on Tuesday, allowing one run on five hits.
“I thought he was good, not great,” Roberts said. “I think that there were probably some emotions in there. I thought he might have gotten squeezed on some calls, he didn’t let it affect him. The ability to continue to make pitches. This was a great spring for all our young guys. But for Dustin to take down almost four innings was a real good experience.”
May appeared in five games this spring, including one start. He allowed only two runs in 12 1⁄3 innings, while striking out nine. His ERA was only 1.46, while opponents hit .239 off of him. He’ll likely start the season in Oklahoma City, but could be a candidate to make the big-league roster at some point in 2019.
- Dave Roberts still hasn’t decided who the final bullpen piece will be. He said he wants it to be someone who can give lengthy outings. This likely will come down to either Dennis Santana or Brock Stewart
- Clayton Kershaw will throw a three-inning simulated game on Saturday afternoon