Marginal progress for rookie in second start; Dodgers' rotation unsettled
By Brian Hedger
Special to MLB.com |
CHICAGO -- Julio Urias would like another chance to prove the Dodgers should keep him in their starting rotation, but whether that happens may be out of his hands.
The 19-year-old left-hander -- ranked No. 1 among Dodgers prospects and No. 2 in the game by MLBPipeline.com -- was left wondering where he'll make his next start after allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits, including three home runs, over five innings in a 7-2 loss to the Cubs on Thursday at Wrigley Field.
Urias lasted longer than he did in his Major League debut against the Mets in New York on May 27, when he allowed three runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings, but he still made some costly mistakes.
"Every day he takes the mound up here, it's learning a lesson," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Urias. "He left a few balls up, and they made him pay. He gave up three home runs. When you elevate in the strike zone, there's damage to be had."
Now the question is whether Urias will get another turn in the rotation. Roberts didn't provide clarity on that issue, despite being down a starter with lefty Alex Wood on the 15-day disabled list and other starting options still making their way back from injuries.
"We're going to talk about that, but I think that we haven't made that decision yet," Roberts said. "After this, I'll get together with the [coaches] and we'll figure out what is best for us."
Overall, Urias came out of the game feeling good about his performance. He struck out four and walked only one, but a couple of well-placed hits led to his undoing. Urias allowed two runs on two singles and a walk in the second, then ran into trouble by allowing a home run in each of his final two innings.
In the fourth inning, Javier Baez launched the first homer, which was projected by Statcast™ to land 412 feet from the plate and made it 4-0 Cubs. Chicago added two more on back-to-back homers by Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant in the fifth. Bryant's towering shot, projected at 436 feet by Statcast™, bounced off the protective netting in front of the video board behind the left-field bleachers.
"Overall, I felt good, but those pitches that I missed, those are the ones they were able to capitalize on," Urias said through a translator. "Those pitches lacked control, and they connected on them in the best way."
Now, Urias will play the waiting game to see what's next for him.
"We'll keep working these next five days, and we're going to wait to see what the coaches say," Urias said. "I always want to go pitch. I'm going to continue to work and throw the ball in the bullpen, and hopefully things get better."
At least one of Urias' teammates would like to see him stick around.
"He has the most talent, probably, in this locker room, and he's 19 years old," said outfielder Trayce Thompson, who hit a homer of his own in the fifth inning. "I'm sure he's not extremely pleased about his day, but he's here for a little bit, hopefully, and he's going to get another chance.
"Everyone has their days when they are not on their 'A' game. We believe in him, and I think our whole organization believes in him. We're just excited to have him here."
Brian Hedger is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.