Dodgers yet to decide if 20-year-old rookie lefty will start or relieve
By Carlos Collazo
SAN DIEGO -- After Julio Urias' final start of the regular season, the Dodgers are still unsure about whether he would start a potential Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Nationals, but after his three scoreess innings in a 9-4 win over the Padres on Thursday, his case is strong for a spot on the postseason roster.
"I'm not sure about the start," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "We still have to talk internally and make a decision, but I think he's made a strong case to be on the postseason roster in some capacity."
Urias struck out five and allowed just one hit on 58 pitches, cementing his final ERA of his rookie season at a solid 3.39. Roberts said Urias didn't have his best stuff, but he was happy with the way the 20-year-old lefty was able to perform without it.
"I think if you had one word to try to sum up Julio, it's poise," Roberts said. "And regardless of the situation, environment, having his A-stuff or not, he still finds a way to get Major League hitters out. So there's a lot to be said for that."
For Urias' part, he was just happy to be given another start after making just three September appearances.
"I'm very happy for the opportunity," Urias said. "I felt good, I felt comfortable and I'm very thankful to the team, that they gave me that opportunity.
"It's really an experience, and every time you go out there, you learn from every start, you learn about the league and you learn about every batter and you really start feeling comfortable. And that's the most important part."
With his final start, Urias has 74 Major League innings, along with 45 innings with Triple-A -- the most he's thrown in his professional career. Los Angeles has tried to limit his appearances down the stretch, and Urias said he still feels strong.
"I feel really good, from my legs to my arm," he said. "And it's God that's been putting me in this position and I feel great."
Because of that health, and the success he's had with the team in a variety of roles, he's likely to pitch even more important innings for the Dodgers during October.
"The roster comes out at the end of the season and I'm going to respect whatever decision they take, whether it's starting, I will go out there in the beginning and do my work," Urias said. "If it's coming out of the bullpen, then I'll come in in the middle of the game and also try to contribute to the team."
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.