Kershaw's 20-year-old season was his rookie year of 2008, and it unfolded more conventionally, beginning on time at Double-A. He was called up, sent down once for three weeks after struggling and then called up again. He worked a combined 171 innings that year, up from 122 in 2007. Twice that year at Double-A, Kershaw made one-inning appearances, once as a starter.
"I think they did a really good job of increasing my workload gradually each year," Kershaw said of former general manager Ned Colletti's front office. "I didn't feel like I was not getting to pitch, but at the same time, I feel like they took care of me, too. The tricky part for them -- and different in Julio's case -- is that he's really had decent success. He hasn't struggled.
"To send me down, they didn't need an excuse, because I was struggling. It was an easy decision for me to go down and work on things. Julio dominates up here, and that's a tougher conversation, like, 'Why are you sending me down?' He's having more success earlier than I did. That makes it harder to keep him back."
In 2015, at four Minor League stops, an 18-year-old Urias threw a combined 80 1/3 innings. At 18, Kershaw threw 64 innings in high school and 37 innings in rookie ball.
In 2016 at age 19, Urias' innings jumped to 127 2/3 innings in the regular season and postseason, 82 2/3 of them in the Major Leagues, where he went 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA with 84 strikeouts. Kershaw's innings went from 103 to 122 to 171.
"I don't know how you do that, I don't know the right way to do it," Kershaw said of modulating the innings. "But I definitely don't think you can have a guy that hasn't done it and run him out there every fifth day and throw 100-plus pitches for 200-plus innings if you don't have a baseline."
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.