The speed of his fastball was trending down. The opposing hitters had been making some onerous contact.
Julio Urías additionally hadn’t given up any runs.
His pitch depend was at 65.
However supervisor Dave Roberts eliminated him after six innings of a sport during which the Dodgers had been forward by two runs.
Roberts can say no matter he desires. So can baseball operations President Andrew Friedman.
Not can they conceal what they consider Urías.
They don’t belief him — not less than not how they belief, say, Walker Buehler.
The Dodgers as soon as championed the previous teenage prodigy as a future franchise cornerstone, however they now use him as if he’s a fourth starter. Roberts has referred to as him a famous person however treats him as if he’s the form of overpriced and broken-down pitcher Friedman used to love to signal.
This doesn’t make any sense.
Final yr, Urías grew to become baseball’s first 20-game winner in 5 seasons. This yr, the 25-year-old left-hander has recovered from a horrific season debut to put up a 0.82 earned-run common over his final 4 begins.
The untimely removing of Urías didn’t value the Dodgers on Tuesday night time as they beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 at Dodger Stadium.
However how the Dodgers used Urías was harking back to what they did with him final yr in opposition to the identical crew in Recreation 5 of their Nationwide League Division Sequence. As a substitute of beginning Urías, whose flip was up within the rotation, the Dodgers had him pitch out of the bullpen after a few relievers opened the sport. They gained the sport however the entrance workplace’s train in self-importance backfired in the long term, because it began a sequence of catastrophic occasions that resulted of their elimination within the subsequent spherical by a weaker Atlanta Braves crew.
The Dodgers may as soon as once more obtain a delayed punishment for his or her lack of religion in Urías.
Their rotation isn’t practically as high heavy because it was final yr when Max Scherzer and Buehler had been in entrance of him. The Dodgers are relying on Urías to be their No. 2 starter behind Buehler.
How is Urías anticipated to tackle that function when the Dodgers gained’t give him the possibility to develop into it?
“I do consider he’s that man and we’re going to lean on him all summer season,” Roberts mentioned. “I didn’t really feel proper now was the time.”
Roberts pointed to how Urías and different pitchers had solely a 3½-week camp to construct up their arms as a result of spring coaching was shortened by the lockout. By no means thoughts that Urías delivered 81 pitches in his earlier begin and 75 within the one earlier than that.
Urías threw 80% of his pitches for strikes and didn’t stroll a single batter. However Roberts talked about the variety of hard-struck balls by the Giants, in addition to the place they had been within the order to begin the seventh inning.
Up first was Wilmer Flores, whom Urías struck out in his first two at-bats. Subsequent was the left-handed-hitting Brandon Crawford, who was 0 for two with a strikeout.
As all the time, the ever-polite Urías mentioned he revered administration’s determination.
Requested if he was stunned to be taken out of the sport, Urías replied in Spanish, “No. Clearly, it’s occurred earlier than.”
Would he have appreciated to remain within the sport?
“Clearly,” he mentioned. “Clearly.”
Urías continued, “The best way I used to be attacking with my pitches, you need to preserve combating, preserve combating. However that was their plan and I’ve to respect it.”
With the victory over the Giants, Urías improved to 2-1 with a 1.88 ERA.
Dodgers administration would virtually definitely argue his numbers over the past couple of years mirror their good utilization of him, of how they’ve saved him out of hurt’s method by limiting the instances he faces a lineup for the third time.
However how can they be sure they’re defending him quite than stopping him from realizing his potential? They’ll’t be.
The guess right here is that Urías’ agent, Scott Boras, doesn’t thoughts. Urías can be eligible free of charge company after subsequent season. The higher preserved his arm, the extra profitable the contract he figures to be provided on the open market.
Urías will be the cornerstone of a rotation.
Except the Dodgers change how they’re utilizing him, nonetheless, it should be with one other crew.