Urias plans to learn from difficult outing

Dodgers' teen phenom struggles vs. Cubs

Urias plans to learn from difficult outing

MESA, Ariz. -- There's a school of thought that it might be beneficial in the long run if Julio Urias struggles a little in Spring Training, just to dial down the hysteria that could lead to rushing the 18-year-old to the big leagues.

On Wednesday, Urias struggled against the Cubs, and even he said it was a good thing.

"It might be a bad outing on paper, but I take it as a good day because I can work on what failed today," Urias said.

He had just labored through 26 pitches to only four batters, allowing singles to the heart of the Cubs' batting order -- Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Miguel Montero -- then a sacrifice fly by Chris Coghlan. Manager Don Mattingly yanked him when he exceeded a 25-pitch limit for one inning.

"He's still an 18-year-old in big league camp," Mattingly reminded. "Those guys know and want to get a piece of him. It's good for him."

Urias said he was fine physically and even went to the bullpen to make 15 extra throws.

"My confidence is there," Urias said. "I need to work on a slider, a changeup, locating pitches. I can't rely on just the fastball. I have to have secondary pitches."

Urias, a starter throughout his young career, relieved for Zack Greinke and didn't have his typical warm-up routine. His appearance, scheduled for two innings, lasted only one-third of an inning.

By contrast, David Huff warmed up quickly, took over for Urias, and stopped the Cubs right there. He pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings and drew praise from Mattingly.

"He's got a lot of weapons, a clean delivery and he handles everything well," Mattingly said. "He's really interesting."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.