Just when the Dodgers rotation seemed ready for some stability, a new wrinkle foiled those plans. Julio Urías won’t return to start on Sunday against the Phillies as planned, still feeling discomfort in his left hamstring strain.
From the beat reporters on-site in Philadelphia on Friday:
#Dodgers Julio Urías is no longer starting on Sunday. During his bullpen yesterday his hamstring didn’t feel 100%. He will continue throwing, but likely won’t get off a mound again until next week. Dave Roberts added he will likely need a rehab assignment before being activated.— Kirsten Watson (@kirsten_watson) June 9, 2023
Julio Urías won’t start Sunday as planned, Dave Roberts said. Didn’t feel 100 percent after his bullpen yesterday. They’ll taxi someone and effectively run a bullpen game on Sunday — Gavin Stone isn’t an option this turn through, Roberts said.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) June 9, 2023
The Dodgers are going to go with a bullpen game Sunday, Roberts said— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) June 9, 2023
After that, Roberts said they might be able to get away with only a four-man rotation until Urías does return, thanks to all the off days this month
Urías threw a pair of bullpen sessions in preparation for his return, then on Tuesday in Cincinnati faced Dodgers hitters in a simulated game situation followed by time in the bullpen, totaling four innings.
The left-hander has been sidelined for three weeks on the injured list, and this latest setback likely adds another two weeks at a minimum.
Urías not yet being ready leaves the Dodgers with four starting pitchers at the moment. Noah Syndergaard is no longer in the rotation, placed on the injured list Thursday for what looks like an open-ended reset trying to figure things out.
Gavin Stone, who Dave Roberts told reporters Friday is not an option for Sunday, was optioned on May 30. He can be recalled as early as June 14 without requiring some other injured-list-type move. But the schedule for the rest of June is favorable to the Dodgers in this regard, with the next three Mondays off, plus Thursday, June 22.
The Dodgers could get by with only four starters for the remainder of the month, save for one more bullpen game or spot start after Sunday against the Phillies. The Dodgers are back home next week, with six game days in a row from Tuesday through Sunday against the White Sox and Giants, so they’ll need another starter/bullpen game on the homestand.
Dodgers remaining June schedule
|11th: Bullpen game||12th: Off||13th: Gonsolin (6 days rest)||14th: Kershaw (5 days)||15th: Grove (5 days)||16th: Miller (5 days)||17th: Stone? (or bullpen)|
|18th: Gonsolin (4 days)||19th: Off||20th: Kershaw (5 days)||21st: Grove (5 days)||22nd: Off||23rd: Miller (6 days)||24th: Gonsolin (5 days)|
|25th: Kershaw (4 days)||26th: Off||27th: Grove (5 days)||28th: Miller (4 days)||29th: Gonsolin (4 days)||30th: Kershaw (4 days)|
Because of the off days, they could use mostly a four-man rotation while still only having starts on four days rest as little as four, maybe five times.
After that, they won’t need another starter until the road trip that runs through the first weekend in July, and likely not until the series Kansas City against the Royals (June 30-July 2). Presumably, by then Urías might be ready to return.
But as we know with starting pitching, you can’t plan too far ahead, because you never know what might happen.