Julio Urias Shaky Debut Earns Trip Back to AAA

Julio Urias

Over the last two seasons, it seems as if a super prospect makes his MLB debut on a weekly basis. Over the last several weeks, we have seen the triumphs of Nomar Mazara of the Texas Rangers while all witnessing the struggles of Byron Buxton in Minnesota.

Just yesterday, MLB.com’s #2 ranked prospect, Los Angeles Dodgers’ left handed phenom Julio Urias, who has drawn comparisons to Red Sox lefty David Price, made his debut in New York. However, Urias’s debut was anything but stellar as he gave up 3 runs and 5 hits while walking 4 in only 2.2 innings against the Mets. Following the teenager’s shaky debut, it was announced that he will be returning to AAA Oklahoma City.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Julio Urias was the youngest Dodgers left hander to make his Major League debut since Sandy Koufax in 1955. While there’s no denying Urias’s youth, the question becomes did the Los Angeles Dodgers rush Urias into making a start that he simply was not ready for, or is the game too big for him at this level?

Starting pitching woes have plagued the Dodgers since the departure of Zack Greinke, as evidenced by a 4.17 ERA by pitchers not named Clayton Kershaw. It appeared to me that the Dodgers used last night’s start as an attempt to find a consistent and electric second starting option. Even though many people think of his debut as a “bad” outing, I believe it was a great way to determine where he is at in his development as young left handed pitcher. One of Urias’ former teammates, D-Backs ace Zack Greinke, had incredibly positive comments regarding the 19 year old lefty:

While Julio Urias may not be the second coming of David Price just yet, he flashed a plus fastball and slider and simply needs refinement of his command and execution to fully reach his potential. I expect his stay in AAA to be brief and to see him as a fixture on the Dodgers’ pitching staff both this year and in the future.