The penultimate day in Arizona this spring training for the Dodgers was a busy one, with not only Julio Urías officially tabbed as the opening day starter on March 30, but also the full rotation order to start the season, including Clayton Kershaw starting Saturday, April 1 to ensure the left-handers in the rotation don’t pitch back to back.
In addition, the roster was essentially finalized, if not yet officially, with Ryan Pepiot winning the fifth starter spot, and Andre Jackson capturing the final bullpen spot.
“He’s earned it,” manager Dave Roberts said of Urías making his first career opening day start, per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times. “He’s checked a lot of boxes and this is one of the last for him; something that from his teammates to all of us, we’re excited for him to have this opportunity.”
As far as what happens at the end of the 2023 season, Urías deflected any talk about his pending free agency, referring instead to Scott Boras, his representative. From Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:
“I have an agent. He does his job, and I’m happy to have him by my side, happy to have an agent who I know will do what he can for me. He’s available for whatever, to answer the calls, answer everything,” Urias said.
“My focus is on the day-to-day, on trying to get ready for Arizona and for Opening Day. They have a good lineup that’s difficult (to face), but I’ll try to do the scouting necessary to focus on them. All the decisions that have to do with contracts, my agent is open for whatever.”
- On James Outman making his first opening day roster, general manager Brandon Gomes told Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic, “At every turn, every challenge we’ve given him, he’s accepted and gone out and addressed it. ... Every year, it’s just like (he was) exponentially getting better.”
- Craig Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus wrote this before any of the above roster news was announced, but his point still stands — that the Dodgers needed urgency in their roster decisions this year, because their path to another division title is more fraught than in years past. “Ironically, they can’t create depth the way they’ve become famous for, because they’re not all that deep,” he wrote.
- I took part in a roundtable with Jon Weisman and Mike Petriello at Weisman’s Slayed By Voices newsletter, in which we mused back and forth about our thoughts on the Dodgers heading into 2023.