PHOENIX -- Every starting pitcher in Dodgers camp has thrown live batting practice this week except 20-year-old Julio Urias. He'll get his turn Thursday, but he's aware he's still being treated with kid gloves, and he's dealing with it.
Management wants to protect Urias' arm after jumping him from 80 1/3 innings in 2015 to 127 2/3 innings in 2016. To ration innings so he's available in September and October, one of the considerations is to have him open the season in extended Spring Training. Another is to put him in the big league rotation and cut short his starts.
"It's a decision they're going to make and I respect whatever decision they make, but who doesn't want to be in the big leagues?" said Urias. "Personally, I would rather watch my innings and be on the big league club, but if that's not the decision, that's something I have to respect. And I'm grateful they are looking after me and taking care of me."
Urias isn't thrilled about being throttled back while his teammates are preparing for the season at a faster pace, but said he learned patience and tolerance from his family in the most unusual of circumstances.
While growing up, Urias had a benign tumor above his left eye, which has since been removed. But his parents taught him about overcoming hurdles and ignoring negativity, including taunts from other kids for looking different.
"My family would tell me to be patient and not get upset," he said. "You never know what kids will say or how you will react, especially when you're really young. To protect me, they would always tell me to remain calm, stay patient. I learned to control my emotions when things don't go the way you hope. Same thing here. You have to wait for decisions, respect them, and when it's your turn, it's your turn.
"It's just a little strange. You want to go out there. It can be a little frustrating. I trained in the offseason and thought they would turn me loose this year, give me a little more work to do, and that's what I trained for and prepared for, but if it's not that way I have to wait for my turn."
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.