LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers starting rotation has been in flux for the better part of a month, but could get some stability back soon in the form of opening day starter Julio Urías.
The left-hander threw a bullpen session on the main mound at Dodger Stadium, his second since landing on the injured list with a left hamstring strain on May 20.
“He was good today. I would say probably about 80 percent, about 25-30 pitches,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He used his entire pitch mix, didn’t look like he was favoring [the left hamstring] at all.”
Up next for Urías will be facing Dodgers hitters in a simulated game of three to four innings on Tuesday when the Dodgers are in Cincinnati. If all goes well there, he’ll be activated at some point during the series in Philadelphia next weekend.
Whom Urías replaces remains to be seen.
“Michael [Grove]’s taking the start today and we’ll see what happens in his next start. Outside of that, it’s going to be Tony [Gonsolin] on Tuesday, Noah [Syndergaard on Wednesday], then Clayton [Kershaw] on Thursday,” Roberts said. “Once we get to that point, we’ll have to make some decisions.”
Grove’s start against the Yankees was his first game back after missing six weeks with a right groin strain. The timing doesn’t work out for Urías to be ready by Friday, which is Grove’s next spot. But it wouldn’t be out of the question for Grove to be optioned after his start next weekend, to make room for Urías. Or Bobby Miller, though he has looked sharp in his first two major league starts.
Syndergaard, who has a 6.54 ERA in 11 starts, could make the Dodgers’ decision for them if he has another poor start on Wednesday against the Reds.
Once Urías comes back, he’ll try to improve on his 4.39 ERA and 14 home runs allowed in 10 starts. He allowed four home runs in an inning to the Cardinals on May 18, one of three starts this season in which he’s allowed at least five runs. Last season, Urías allowed five or more runs three times all season, including only once over his final 24 starts.
“I do think this two-week, three-week situation is going to reset him, and he’ll be able to finish the rest of the season strong,” Roberts said.