Roberts expects role for Urias in postseason

Dodgers' roookie left-hander willing to adapt to team's needs

Roberts expects role for Urias in postseason

SAN DIEGO -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is still unsure of what role 20-year-old lefty Julio Urias will play on the team's postseason roster, but is confident he'll be there in some spot.

"I do see him on the postseason roster in some capacity," Roberts said. "But outside of that I just don't know where, and I can't say how it's going to end up for him.

"Julio's been receptive to being able to adapt. You know, I know I said a couple weeks ago that he wasn't going to start a game again. So I think as we looked internally and felt that where his innings were at, it did make sense to give him this opportunity. For the organization [and] for him."

After Los Angeles moved Urias into a reliever role for what was expected to be the rest of the season to manage his workload, Roberts announced on Tuesday that the southpaw would take the mound as a starter once again.

Urias has thrown a 119 innings between Triple-A and the Majors this season, which is 31 1/3 innings more for him than any previous year as a professional.

"As aggressive as it might seem, we're still being very cautious I think," Roberts said, of striking the balance between doing what's best for the team, and doing what's best for Urias. "As we get closer to the postseason, I'll know exactly how he's going to be used and to what extent, and what makes sense for him when that time comes."

After Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, Urias has posted the best FIP (fielding independent pitching) among Los Angeles starters. FIP is similar to ERA, but focuses only on strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches and home runs.

While it might be a challenge to walk the line of protecting Urias' arm and innings load, it's hard to ignore the numbers the young pitcher has managed in his rookie season.

Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.