With starters Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu beginning the year on the disabled list, the Dodgers surely liked what they saw from Julio Urias on Monday in his season debut for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Urias, making just the third Triple-A start of his young career, was dominant in a 4-0 win over Memphis as he struck out nine batters over five scoreless innings. The Dodgers' No. 2 prospect -- No. 3 on the Top 100 -- scattered four hits and did not issue a walk in the outing, throwing 49 of his 73 pitches for strikes.
Urias allowed a pair of two-out singles in the bottom of the first inning but settled in after that and retired the next 12 hitters. The left-hander struck out at least two hitters in each of his final four frames and completed his outing by fanning the side in the fifth.
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Though he won't celebrate his 20th birthday until Aug. 12, this spring was already Urias' third in big league camp with the Dodgers. He struck out the side in the first frame of his spring debut but failed to record an out in the second, and then yielded one run on two hits in his second and final spring outing.
Urias was off to an excellent start last year at Double-A Tulsa before electing to have surgery to remove a benign tumor from his left eye in mid-May. He returned after two months on the disabled list to make six more starts at Tulsa before moving up to Triple-A in late August.
Urias scuffled in his first taste of the Minor League's highest level, allowing a combined nine earned runs in 4 1/3 innings over his final two regular-season starts. He put concerns about last year's performance to rest with his debut on Monday, however, and took another step towards making his likely 2016 big league debut.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.