Los Angeles Dodgers number one prospect Julio Urias took the mound against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, in a 7-2 loss. Urias gave up five runs, on eight hits while issuing four strikeouts in five innings pitched. This game was a sizable improvement from his debut where he gave up three runs and four walks in 2.2 innings pitched. He seemed calmer and had better command of the strike zone. The only blemish on the day was the three home runs he gave up in the fourth and fifth inning.
In the fourth inning second baseman Javier Baez hit a two-run homer to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead. Then in the fifth inning outfielder Jason Heyward took a high fastball deep and third baseman Kris Bryant made Urias pay on a breaking ball that floated in the zone. At this point the game it was 6-1 in favor of the Cubs.
That was the last inning Urias pitched before Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts decided to make a change.
After giving the abridged version of Urias’ performance how would we grade the young rookie?
Urias, in two starts has pitched a combined 7.2 innings and has been charged with eight earned runs, while walking five and striking out seven.
These are not numbers you expect from your number one prospect but I would not be overly concerned because he is still only 19 years old and adjusting to big league hitters.
Keep in mind that the Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw did not develop into the phenom that he is now till his third season in the big leagues. In fact, Kershaw’s first two games are very similar statistically to Urias. Kershaw pitched 9.2 innings and was charged six earned runs, while walking five and striking out nine.
Having said that, Urias will continue to improve and get more comfortable as he continues to play. The question will be how the Dodgers will manage his reps and how much they are counting on Urias to make an impact this season.
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