Why Julio Urias is not Ready for LA

Julio Urias, on a non roster invite to the Dodgers’ Spring Training camp for 2015, faced 4 batters in a live batting practice session today, and he dominated. Striking out potential center field starter on Joc Pederson on three pitches, did the same to Alex Guerrero and then sat down Chris Heisey too.

When he threw a fastball, I couldn’t see it,” Guerrero said in an interview after his at bat. “The movement was distinct. He threw me two high fastballs, but I couldn’t see them. I swung for the sake of swinging, but I couldn’t see them.

The thing that got the eyes of such greats as Sandy Koufax and Rick Honeycutt was his offspeed, “His fastball is pretty good, and he offsets that with his changeup,” Heisey said. “The changeup I saw was really good, especially if he can learn to pitch it with that upper-90s fastball. Then that changeup away to righties will be devastating.”

The only problem is he’s 18.

Urias pitched since he was 16 for LA and has been under pressure to perform in his outings, none of which has got above 5.1IP. In his first year in A Great Lakes he went 2-0 with an 2.48 ERA but only started 18 games.

His second year was about the same but only pitched for A+ Rancho Cucamonga, he again got two wins in a 2-2 2.36 ERA performance. The thing that worries me is the step from 25 games with only 87.2IP up to the big leagues. No 18 year old needs to be put under that kind of pressure early on and I am sure he will get there by the next few years.

Urias said he expects to pitch Friday in a Cactus League game. The Dodgers have a couple of split-squad games that day, one at home against the Seattle Mariners and then another nearby, against the Milwaukee Brewers.

For me, if I were the Dodgers management, leave him down in AA or possibly the odd shift at AAA and see how he performs, if he can get some innings in and get up to major league standard bring him up when the rosters expand and see how he goes but for now, Julio, keep working your a** off and we will see you before we know it pitching for LA.

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