Urias to get bullpen experience in Triple-A

Teenage lefty likely to pitch in relief for Dodgers after All-Star break

Urias to get bullpen experience in Triple-A

LOS ANGELES -- Teenager Julio Urias will pitch in relief at Triple-A Oklahoma City and, likely, for the Dodgers later this year.

The 19-year-old was rushed to the big leagues at the end of May because of injuries and he made eight starts for the Dodgers, going 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA. He was removed from the rotation and sent down after a 3 1/3-inning start on July 4.

Urias has thrown 77 1/3 innings combined this year, three short of his total for 2015, which was interrupted by cosmetic eye surgery. His career high is 87 2/3 innings in '14, and the club wants to nurse him the rest of this season to avoid a significant workload jump that might increase the risk of injury.

"We definitely want him to rest and kind of control his innings," said manager Dave Roberts. "The front office and development are collaborating. We're going to send him to Oklahoma City and keep him there. He will be out of the bullpen, but not exclusively. He'll also start, but we'll limit the pitch count and he'll also pitch out of the 'pen and assimilate to that. It only makes sense. It's something he wants and he feels comfortable about."

Roberts said the club wants Urias to learn a quicker warmup while in the Minor Leagues and not try that conversion in the Major Leagues. He said Urias will not pitch on back-to-back days, at least initially.

"At some point it is an option," Roberts said of Urias pitching out of the Dodgers' bullpen in the second half. "It's also contingent on the starting pitching. If we need a starting pitcher, that changes things as well."

Roberts said a meeting would be held Saturday to line up the starting rotation coming out of the All-Star break.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.