Julio Urias – Wunderkind

In case you don’t know, a Wunderkind is “a child prodigy or one who succeeds in a competitive or highly difficult field or profession at an early age.”  That would be Julio Urias.  I find it incredulous that Julio Urias pitched 77 innings in the major leagues in 2016 as a 19 year old and compiled a 5-2 record with a 84 strikeouts and a 3.39 ERA and yet some fans suggest he needs another year at AAA.  HELLO?

Then, they turn around and lament the trade of Jose De Leon who at the age of 24, in the same major league, pitched 17 innings with 15 strikeouts and 5 HR to go with a 6.35 ERA.  He was five years older and could not hold a candle to Julio.   I have pointed out that Clayton Kershaw in his first year, at age 20 pitched 107 innings with 109 hits and 100 strikeouts to go with a 4.26 ERA.  The very next year, Clayton Kershaw broke out with a 2.79 ERA and 171 IP, 119 Hits and 185 K’s.

AND YET SOME THINK URIAS IS NOT ALL THAT?  I’m not saying that people who say such stuff are dumb – they just have bad luck when it comes to thinking! Maybe they haven’t watched Julio pitch – yeah the cable company stole their signal and so they can claim insanity.

Here is a NEWS FLASH:  Julio Urias is going to be very, very good… yes, in 2017! I will stop short of saying he will be better than Clayton Kershaw, but he is cut from the same cloth.  Oh, sure – they are different pitchers, but Julio is going to be in the discussion as to who the best pitcher in baseball is shortly.  Won’t it be cool that two are Dodgers?

Julio pitched 122 innings last year.  He will push 200 this year.  Farhan Zaidi said there are no pitch counts now.  I think Julio will likely win 17 to 18 games in 2017, and God-forbid, if Clayton Kershaw were hurt, he might be the Dodgers Ace.  I would look for him to go on the 10-day DL a couple of times next year, but he’s going to mostly be out there every 5th day, doing what he does – get batters out!

Actually, I think many teams, including the Dodgers will put pitchers on the 10-day DL this season to keep them fresh.  Skip 2 starts and come back strong.  I don’t know what the Dodger rotation will look like this year, because I have no clue if Ryu, McCarthy or Kazmir will be healthy. But, I do know that among De Leon, Alvarez, Buehler, Stewart and a couple of others, JDL was deemed the most expendable.

Enjoy watching “The Kid” this year.  Kershaw is no longer The Kid – we’ve got a new kid on the block and he’s going to be damn good!

KID URIAS! Wunderkind!

UPDATE: Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier – I have heard rumblings that the Dodgers would eat half of A-Gon’s and Andre’s salary if they can obtain a RH bat in a 3 or 4-way deal.  Obviously A-Gon is from San Diego.  Could he go back to end his career and what would SD be willing to give up to get him at $10 million a year  for two more years?  Cody Bellinger is very, very close! I do believe the Dodgers are shopping Ethier and Gonzalez – I just can’t see any takers unless they are packaged with younger prospects.  I would not be surprised to see a blockbuster of epic proportions involving Gonzo, Ethier, Pederson, Puig and a few prospects.  Those deals are generally 3 or 4-way deals and are very tricky.  I’m not holding my breath.

UPDATE 2: Jose De Leon – I was just listening to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register and he said that the Dodgers did not regard Jose De Leon as a Top Prospect… and neither did the Twins, which was why the deal with them for Dozier did not happen. He also said that the Dodgers would not trade their other prospects in those deals. Bill Shaiken of The LA Times, says the same thing.  Plunkett also thinks that Forsythe will be the primary leadoff hitter.

UPDATE 3: Ryu – He claims that he is in great shape and throwing without pain.  Of course, he said the same thing last Spring.  So, what we know is NOTHING!

UPDATE 4: Brett Eibner – Organizational Depth  http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/01/athletics-trade-brett-eibner-dodgers.html 

In case you wonder what the photos are, until Spring Training, I am running photos of Spring Training which I have taken from past Springs.

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 96 Comments

  1. If Ryu, Kasmir, and McCarthy are healthy and pitching well in Spring Training the Dodgers will try their best to trade one, two, or all three. If a trade can’t be made, I think the rotation will be Kershaw, Maeda, Kasmir, McCarthy, Ryu and Urias will be in OK where he can conserve his pitch count. He will be brought up when a trade thins out the rotation.
    .
    I have been down on De Leon since he was rested coming out of Spring Training last year. That was a good trade.
    .
    San Diego probably like to have a veteran team leader to help all their young players progress. Agon could be traded with SVS playing first until Bellinger is ready. Maybe Ethier could be traded to the Angels. They always seem to need a lefty hitter and did I hear Pujols might be injured?

    I think Pederson and Puig will be Dodgers.

    1. I have to respectfully disagree on Urias going to OKC. I think his likelihood of going there is the same as Clayton’s.

      😉

      Here’s why I say that. Look as a few starting pitchers ERA’s in their first season in MLB :

      Sale – 2.79
      Bumgarner – 3.00
      Scherzer – 3.05
      Urias – 3.39
      Greinke – 3.97
      Lincecum – 4.00
      Price – 4.42
      Kershaw – 4.26
      Lester – 4.76
      Cueto – 4.81

      Julio is in some rare company and he has nothing to learn at OKC. He may start as our #4, but he will be higher than that at the end. Also, I heard Farhan Zaidi yesterday say that Urias was unquestionably in the rotation, so there’s that scoop too.

      1. Where we agree Mark is that Urias is good enough to be in the rotation and that he will pitch at least as well as a #3 if not a #2. But I don’t see the Dodgers releasing a healthy McCarthy, Ryu, or Kasmir. One of them might be used as a reliever but I think if all three can be used as starters they will have more trade value and that is what I think FAZ wants to do with two of them.

  2. Welcome to Melton. Since he and Mark brought up the “other board”, I posted the following on the other board concerning that dreaded topic “The Trade”. I thought it blew out any argument that DeLeon would have got us Hamels (without Seager/Urias). I got no reply’s there. Any thoughts here.

    Maybe, just maybe, the Phillies knew better than you guys!!! Maybe, just maybe, the Phillies don’t get their scouting reports the same place you guys do. Maybe just maybe, the Phillies are a lot better off having traded with Texas.

    ESPN’s Keith Law: Cole Hamels trade was ‘Phillies’ Herschel Walker moment’

    For the first time in years, Phillies spring training is the root of optimism in Philadelphia. While 2016 results likely won’t be pretty (USA Today and Baseball Prospectus peg them for worst record in baseball), the future is looking bright.

    Much of that is thanks due to a farm system that has been overhauled over the last 18 months–stemming in large part from the July 2015 trade of Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers. In return, the Phillies landed five prospects: Catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams and three right-handed pitchers, Jake Thompson, Jared Eickhoff and Alec Asher.

    The quantity, along with quality, of that deal spurred ESPN prospect expert Keith Law to rank the Phillies among the better farm systems in baseball heading into 2016 and put the deal in historical terms.

    “It’s the Phillies’ Herschel Walker moment,” Law told NJ Advance Media during a conference call on Tuesday. “Yes, I’m showing my age, but I believe that. When the Dallas Cowboys dealt Walker to the Minnesota Vikings, it set up their next winning team with an amazing array of assets. This deal did that for the Phillies.”

    “Alfaro is hitter, regardless of if he plays catcher or the outfield,” Law said. “Williams has a chance to be very dynamic. I’m convinced that Jake Thompson is a major-league starter, likely a very solid No. 3. Those players all could be part of the next winning Phillies team or shipped off in trades to acquire players that will get the Phillies there by the end of this decade.”

    While Law’s comparison is historical and paints the trade in a very positive light for the Phillies, it’s viewed through a cross-sports lenses. When asked if it compares to any recent baseball haul, Law pointed out one of the most lopsided-trades in recent history: The 2003 trade that sent Bartolo Colon from the Cleveland Indians to the Montreal Expos for prospects Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips.

    TEXAS PLAYERS
    Jorge Alfaro, catcher, Now 23 yrs old, 16 MLB at bats
    Nick Williams, outfielder, Now 23 yrs old, hasn’t made it to MLB
    Jake Thompson, pitcher, Now 22 yrs old, 2016: 53IP, 5.70ERA, 1.51WHIP
    Jared Eickhoff, pitcher, Now 26 yrs old, 2016: 197IP, 3.65ERA, 1.16WHIP
    Alec Asher, pitcher, Now 25 yrs old, 28IP, 2.28ERA, .94WHIP

    DODGER PLAYERS
    Jose DeLeon, Now 24 yrs old, 17IP, 6.35ERA, 1.53WHIP
    Jose Peraza, Wasn’t even a Dodger until a day before the Hamels trade

    PHILLIES TO DODGERS (Just like Twins to Dodgers) We want more than DeLeon for Hamels. Urias and Seager you got a deal!!!!!!! Otherwise he goes to Texas.

    1. We all know the person behind that rhetoric is delusional at best. There was never any question that the Phillies would have never taken an offer like that. They wanted Urias, De Leon and Seager or Pederson. He refuses to let go of silly ideas. That’s a big reason why I came back here. I don’t suffer fools well. Troublemakers are not welcome, but you are free to tell me that I am wrong anytime you want.

      1. Yeah, It looks like to me that the Phils knew what they were doing. Looks like to me that the Dodgers would have had to included at least one of Urias/Seager. What other top prospects did we have at that time?

        I think everyone here knows we can tell you “I think you’re wrong”. Wouldn’t be any fun otherwise.

        1. I had always heard that the Phillies wanted Urias, De Leon and either Seager or Pederson. The Phillies may not value certain prospects the way we do, so the continual “we could have had Hamel” was absurd.

          1. By the trade deadline the Dodgers and Phillies were close to a deal around SVS and JDL for Hamels when Texas swooped in a beat the offer.

  3. Keith Law has Yadier Alvarez ranked #46 on his TOP MLB Prospects:

    or raw stuff, Alvarez might be the best pitching prospect in the minors. He’ll work in the upper 90s and can show you a plus slider now and again, but the lack of consistency and command hold him out of the upper tier of this list. Alvarez signed as an amateur free agent out of Cuba for $16 million in 2016, which meant the Dodgers paid double that including the penalty for exceeding their bonus cap, so he’d better have a good arm … and he does. But he showed up last summer struggling to find the plate, so he didn’t debut in pro ball until this year’s Arizona League.

    The Dodgers slowed his tempo, so Alvarez’s delivery is more deliberate now, to the point that it’s surprising how hard he’s throwing, and he’s staying on top of the ball and getting more online to the plate. The slider is good, but the big power curveball might end up better if he focuses on that pitch. He might pitch with four distinct offerings, two or even three grading plus, but it’s thrown with grade 40 command, which would make him a big league starter but maybe just an average one. If the command improves — and there’s no delivery-related reason it can’t — then he has a chance to profile anywhere up to the top of a rotation.

  4. I will be interested to see if Urias comes to Glendale in shape and ready to go. I don’t remember what it takes to get into shape as a 20 year old, but probably not as much as now. Still, if the arm is to be golden, I hope he as been doing something in the off season to keep it in shape. How about weight issues? Has that ever projected to be a problem with him. I would still like to see him lighten up on his delivery. He throws each pitch like it is his last. I don’t know how long he can keep that up. Also, am I remembering correctly that he ran a lot of long counts last year? I think he needs to focus on Strike 1. In spite of the strikeouts, I seem to recall a lot of 3-1,3-2,2-0 counts. I like Mark’s analysis, and there is no reason to think it is not accurate, but spring training will determine where he fits into this team because of the other dead wood on the staff. I can see him in the bullpen at least for a while. No on AAA again for him. On AGon: it would be a big mistake to get rid of him. Bellinger still has a lot of learning to do as a hitter, and the holes in his swing will be apparent against major league pitching. AGon is a sure thing on a team without many of them. I may change my mind if Bellinger is given a lot of AB’s in spring, and the hits .400. I can’t see that happening. But with AGon in the WBC, he will get a chance early in spring training.

    1. It would be funny if Bellinger won the 1B job while Gonzo is at the WBC. I don’t understand these guys like Gonzo who are Americans but play for a different country.

      1. The USA is the big show of professional baseball and AGon is a hero on Mexico’s #1 favorite team, the Dodgers. I believe diplomacy is the main goal for international baseball to continue after it was removed from the Olympic Games. And for diplomacy, what’s better than baseball? Baseball is supposed to be returning to the Olympics in 2020 so I’m not certain if pro players will have the same diplomatic interest after that takes place.

  5. Just read we traded for another outfielder. This one from the A’s, but was in the Royals system. Frias DFA’d. What’s going on? As far as I know, there are only 3 outfielders allowed on the field at one time. Unless the rules have changed, there is no buck short. Another move in the works?

    1. Frias time has came and went. Maybe a trade for him? This is just organizational depth. Also, he would not be the first 28 year-old to finally figure out how to hit.At this juncture, it could be a trade brewing or just depth. It’s funny that people are losing their minds over this. Where does Frias even fit in?

  6. 1 – I doubt that Urias will be throwing 200 innings. He averaged a little more than 5 IP/start last year. He threw 126 IP last year at all levels combined. If they increase that by 25% that would be 160 IP and I doubt he will throw more than that as a 20 year old. He is probably #4 starter at this point. Will he pitch like an ace? I have no idea but hope he will.
    2 – The Dodgers have to do something with all of the pitchers on the 40 man roster. If they carry a 12 man pitching staff, that will mean one of Kazmir, McCarthy or Ryu will be in the rotation if all are healthy (not likely, I know). Of the 7 in the ‘pen right now, we have Jansen, Baez, Dayton as locks. They have to decide about Wood, Libertore, Hatcher, Avilan, the other 2 injury-prone starters, Nuno and Stripling for the other 4 bullpen slots. If Wood and Libertore are probably going to make it, does that mean that the other 2 former starters will start the season in the ‘pen? I think that if they can find any takers it makes more sense to trade at least 1 of them.
    3 – It makes sense to trade Ethier if they can find a taker and he waives his no-trade clause. They have other OF options. I’m not too sure about Gonzalez though. I would like to see Bellinger try his hand at AAA first.

    1. I don’t think Urias will ever be a 200 IP/year ace workhorse like Kershaw. He doesnt have the frame. They have him listed at 6’2″ but he looks 5’11” to me. I would still trade Urias & Adrian for McCutchen and Glasnow. Glasnow will be an ace and pitch 200 IP+/year.

    2. Yes.

      Trades have to be made, for the 40 man crunch (which is indirectly alluded to here) is only going to get worse.

      Can’t see Ethier being moved, last season’s injury will have killed his value. The front office values getting value (redundancy!)

      The move for Forsythe seems to indicate that the team is trying to win now and later. I don’t think that jibes with throwing Bellinger in barring injury/major decline in Gonzalez.

  7. Article by Phil Rogers on MLB.com:

    http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article/214356484/will-dodgers-be-a-better-team-than-cubs/

    In part it says:

    Forget that Logan Forsythe hasn’t hit 70 home runs over the last two seasons. He’s not quite as dangerous of a hitter as Brian Dozier.

    Luckily for the Dodgers, he doesn’t have to be to count as a tipping point in the National League’s analytic balance of power.
    According to FanGraphs, the Dodgers moved past the Cubs when they imported Forsythe to fill their second-base void. Forsythe is projected to be a two-win player, and with him in the mix, FanGraphs has the Dodgers down for 95 wins next season, one more than the Cubs.

    Don’t shoot the messenger – I didn’t make it up – I just reported it!

    1. I think that Forsythe can do for the Dodgers what Zobrist has done for the Cubs. If you look at their statistics they appear to be virtually identical players. Also, from the comments made by his teammates, Forsythe, like Zobrist, has that something extra in his character and determination that will make him fun to have on the team. Now as soon as I write that, I know he can break a leg in spring training and Kike will have to be the man. But, barring injuries he helps solidify the infield and makes us stronger offensively.

      I don’t trade Urias (unless perhaps for Trout). I’m not sure what “he doesn’t have the frame” means. But my eyes, uneducated that they are, tell me that this kid is something special. Heck, if we were going by “frame” Fernando may never have pitched a day in the majors.

  8. The acquisition of Brett Eibner is a reminder that the two righty hitters SVS and Thompson had severe enough injuries to miss most of last year and that Kike’ was a bust. The crowded outfield isn’t crowded if SVS, Ethier, and Thompson aren’t healthy enough to play again.

    Hard to think Agon will be traded before July when it will take that long to evaluate the health of SVS and Bellinger’s readiness.

  9. I honestly don’t think A-Gon or Ethier CAN be traded, but I am sure someone will try. I know I would. It seems most likely that you allow Andre to start and hopefully he returns to form and then if injuries strike, you could possibly trade them… or not… and if they are producing at a high level, why would you?

    Andre is playing for another contract, so maybe he will play out of his mind.

    A-Gon is regressing and had his worst year last year, so maybe he works harder and gets better for one year? One can only hope.

    1. Mark, would you trade Urias and Adrian for McCutchen and Glasnow? Would Pittsburgh? I think it makes a lot of sense for both teams.

          1. Adam creative all you want t,Just leave Urias out of any trade rumors. You might give FAZ some ideals.

    2. The Dodgers and Yankees could wind up being trade partners in July. The Yankees could use both Kasmir and McCarthy if they are healthy. Boston has a great rotation but no depth should one or two of their starters go down for a month or so. July could be big this year for the Dodgers.

      1. McCarthy did well with the Yankees pitching coach. It’s a good fit there. I would offer Kazmir and cash to Baltimore for one of their setup guys.

    1. That’s a great read. What isn’t mentioned is WHY it was done this way and WHEN it should end.

    2. Great article. Kershaw is fantastic – rest of rotation is risky and expensive. Kid K with half of the WAR out of the starters during the past 2 years, which is amazing considering Greinke’s 9.3 WAR in 2015. Dodgers have produced 34 WAR out of starters over 2 years – 24.4 are Kershaw for 2 seasons (missed 2 months last year and 9.3 for 1 season of Greinke. The rest of the staff didn’t even produce 10 WAR in 2 years. Awful!

      With Kershaw, Dodgers are projected to be 1st in WAR next year – without him, 15th!

  10. Urias isn’t pitching 200 innings this year. Here is from Dodgers.com:

    “Roberts said that even though Julio Urias is “one of the five best starters in the organization,” the 20-year-old’s innings will still be limited. One option is for Urias to open the season at extended spring training; another is for him to skip multiple starts during the year.”

    1. It would seem that pitch count would be a better stat as it takes some pitchers 100 pitches to get through 5 innings while others can get through 7 innings with 100 pitches. Urias seems to need more pitches per inning so far in his young career. If he can reduce his pitch count per inning he might get 200 innings.

    2. I heard the same interview with FAZ that Mark heard. They will have an idea of how many innings they want him to throw, but if he exceeds expectations and can do more they will allow it. Roberts walked back what he said today and said the important thing is that Urias is at full steam down the stretch and post season.

  11. The Dodgers overpaid for WAR so they wouldn’t have to keep doing it.

    Sure, they traded Montas, Holmes, Cotton and De Leon, but they kept Urias, Buehler, Alvarez, Stewart, White and a bunch of others. They traded from a surplus and did not sign long-term free agents, so that they could reap benefits in the end. Soon, the Giants will have $70 million a year tied up in 3 starters. How is that going to look for them?

    Some fans just cannot grasp the concept that you can overpay on a risky short term deal, but not on a long-term deal which has the risk at the end. It is what happens when you take on aging players like Crawford and Gonzo. Crawfish is done, but the Dodger paid his last two years of $42 million for ZILCH production and Gonzo is declining faster than me. He is owed $43 Million. In 2018, all of these bad deals end. We are competitive now, but watch what happens in the future.

  12. Dodgers signing Brandon Morrow for the ‘pen. High-upside, injury history. Limited exposure 1.25mm if he makes the roster.

    DYK: Morrow was taken two spots ahead of Kershaw in the draft, so the Dodgers are getting the steal of the century.

    1. Dodgers got the steal of the century when those picking ahead chose whoever before Kershaw. When an average staff becomes the best from his stats alone it’s ‘no risk – high reward’.

  13. It’s a great day to be a Dodger Fan at LA DODGER TALK.

    Everyone is awesome.

    Thank you for showing up.

  14. I think that Urias can become a top of the rotation type of guy with the right attitude. He’s got the stuff, Roberts should start pushing him to go straight at batters. Sort of like Lasorda did with Hershiser. His pitch counts are too high.

  15. Hawkeye,

    Where did you hear that the Phillies were even considering a deal for Hamels that involved JDL and SVS? Two years ago, JDL was almost as highly regarded as Urias, but SVS has always been a journeyman. I did hear that Amaro did back off Urias but insisted that Pederson or Seager be included along with JDL and others.

          1. Thank You. Mark it is in the afterward like Olive said. I just read the book two weeks ago. Texas offered more. It basically said that by that point in the season everyone knew that Urias and Seager were off limits. I’m sure that’s who Philly asked for before the 2015 season but by the deadline they knew they weren’t trading those two.

  16. Bill Polian is consulting with Jim Irsay as he decides who the Colts new GM will be. That’s pretty interesting!

    1. As long as he doesn’t recommend Chris Polian again. That crap is what set the franchise back. The more Chris got involved the more the draft started to suck.

      1. Agree. The Colts interview list includes their own interim GM, Jimmy Raye, along with Chris Ballard, director of football operations with the Chiefs; Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, co-directors of pro personnel with the Seahawks; Vikings assistant GM George Paton and Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf.

  17. No particular topic today as we tread water waiting for February 15th. Throw anything out there…

    1. Watford

      I know everyone says take this with a grain of salt, but if Ryu was able to comeback, we would have a very good rotation.

      And that would be a really good mix of pitchers.

      I don’t care what some say about Urias, I have heard two former major league pitchers, say that Urias has better stuff, then Kershaw.

      All Urias needs, is to get more major league experience.

      Urias might be our key to finally winning it all.

  18. I am hopeful about Ryu, but have no expectations. If he is healthy, we could have four lefties in the rotation.

    I do not agree with putting Urias on an extended Spring Training. I say let him go and see where he is at “pitch-wise” by June. Then DL him for 2 starts (10 days). Do the same in August and early September. I still think he will be close to 200 IP. Felix Hernandez threw 191 as 20 year-old. So have others. The Dodgers have babied him up to now. It’s time to let him pitch. 25 starts is about right.

    It’s not the innings so much as it is number of pitches. If he can be stingier on his number of pitches, then he can pitch more innings.

    1. It’s my hopes Ryu is back and that he’d be enthusiastic with playing a roll in Dodgers bullpen as he has a perfect attitude for inheriting runners on. He’s stated in the past he is more comfortable in the situation with runners on base and I remember that working out many times. But that was when our pen was totally bad when inheriting runners with the exception of Jansen. Sometimes it’s best for management to be stingy for him. I think he’d shine bright if his stuff is there.

  19. I am wondering if the violence with which Urias pitches i.e. pitching technique has something to do with this extended spring training bull. If he pitches his way into the rotation at Glendale, he should get that 4th or 5th start that he deserves. He does need to get more efficient though, but his MLB experience should help in that regard. I am hoping he lights up the spring, and then the suits will have no real choice but to start him. We have too many starting pitchers, for sure. But each one comes with a price tag and injury history. The only one I want to keep is Wood because of his age and history of success with the Braves. Ryu may be a medical marvel. I want the name of his doctor to help with my shoulder. McCarthy can go elsewhere and tweet away, and Kazmir can go with him.

    1. Bobby,

      See I do not see him having a Violent Delivery. Here’s the Baseball America Scouting Report:

      At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Urias has a smooth, effortless delivery with easy arm action. His ability to repeat his fluid mechanics is outstanding for his age, which helps him fill the strike zone, walking just under 2.0 batters per nine innings last year in Double-A and again this year in Triple-A. His feel for pitching is well beyond his years, mixing three pitches that earn plus to plus-plus grades.

      Urias pitches off a fastball that sits at 90-95 mph and can reach 97 mph. That’s excellent velocity for a lefty and it plays up because hitters seem to struggle picking up the ball out of his hand due to the deception in his throwing motion. If there’s a split camp on Urias among scouts, it’s over which secondary pitch they prefer. Some think his best offspeed weapon is his changeup, which has excellent separation of his fastball and good movement. He sells his changeup well by maintaining his arm speed, making it a swing-and-miss pitch that earns plus to plus-plus grades.

      Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/what-to-expect-julio-urias/#KsmTjv433m0oZOuC.99

  20. On Morrow: I’ve seen him pitch on TV a few times. Nice looking pitcher. The trouble is: he gets hit. I think he throws a straight fast ball. A little bit like Eovaldi, who throws 98, but is hittable. It’s hard to believe that major league hitters can catch up with 98, but they do. There has to be movement. Morrow doesn’t have it. Maybe for 3 outs he might be ok.

  21. I like the Morrow signing. It costs us basically nothing to see if he can stay healthy. To me, he has the potential to be Wade Davis.

    1. From Fangraphs:

      For the next two years or so, expect to hear the words “they think he could be their Wade Davis” approximately 60 times. Hard throwing starter who never figured it out? Obviously he has a 3 Win season right up his sleeve. Who doesn’t?

      The Blue Jays used him in relief to finish out his stint in Toronto, mopping up after he returned from a long layoff due to a radial nerve entrapment. Morrow began his big league career as a closer and he sports a typical “times through the order” splits, so perhaps the bullpen is the best place for him.

      As a reliever, Morrow was able to air out his fastball, averaging more than 97 mph in his seven game cameo. The results were mixed but Morrow, with a trimmed down repertoire, at least showed flashes of the huge arm teams are sure to dream on.

      That said…if ever there was an easy Davis replicon laying around, it’s probably Brandon Morrow, right? Strip away some of the dead weight, repertoire-wise, while monitoring his workload and allowing him to go after the 3-5 batters set before him?

      It would still require a lot of work to keep him both on the field and in the strike zone at the same time. But the strikeout stuff remains and the high-end velocity is always enticing. Like Davis, Morrow dabbled with a host of offspeed offerings. Perhaps a clear mission and cleaned up mechanics would pave the way to shutdown reliever greatness. If only it was so simple.

  22. From Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

    http://www.dailynews.com/sports/20170112/dodgers-pitching-shows-uncommon-depth-behind-kershaw

    They’re putting the band back together. Of the 15 pitchers who started at least one game for the Dodgers in 2016, 11 are expected back in training camp this spring. Hill re-signed as a free agent, joining Kershaw and Maeda to form the front three. A rotation spot awaits the precocious 20-year-old Urias. Beyond that, a rotating door will likely usher an assortment of starters into the rotation at various times. That uncommon depth should allow the Dodgers to absorb the likely limitations in starts and innings they’ll get from a number of starters — either planned (to limit the innings on young arms like Urias) or unplanned (to injury-prone veterans).

    THE NEXT LAYER

    Even after sending three young pitchers (Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas and former first-round pick Grant Holmes) to Oakland for Hill and outfielder Josh Reddick in July, the Dodgers’ farm system is fat with pitching prospects. Urias, Stripling, Stewart and De Leon made their big-league debuts last season and figure to contribute this year. Behind them, another wave is building. Right-hander Trevor Oaks is the most likely to be seen in Los Angeles this year, but Walker Buehler and Yadier Alvarez are blue-chippers on the way. Buehler underwent Tommy John surgery almost immediately after being drafted in the first round in 2015 and is set for his first full pro season. Signed as a teenager out of Cuba that same summer, Alvarez spent last season hitting 100 mph in Class-A.

    MOVES THEY COULD MAKE

    With so much inventory, the Dodgers would gladly unload veterans McCarthy or Kazmir and get out from under the remainder of their contracts. But that appears unlikely at this point (unless one or the other is attached to prospects in a larger deal). De Leon has reportedly been offered to the Minnesota Twins in trade talks for second baseman Brian Dozier. Those talks were tabled when the Twins set their sights on Buehler and Alvarez (or young first baseman Cody Bellinger) as additions to the deal.

  23. I agree Urias makes it look pretty easy. He still has lots to learn but won’t learn except in the Bigs. Concern re: stamina right now and he won’t pitch more than 160 innings this year at 20 with only 126 IP last year.

    Morrow – seems like more of the old and infirm. Have you checked out his medical history? Here is from Dodgers Digest:
    “Morrow has dealt with shoulder, forearm, elbow, hand, and oblique injuries in his career, limiting him to 120.2 innings from 2013-15 as a starter. In 2016, he gave up on the starting role, instead becoming a member of the Padres bullpen. Morrow showed flashes there, putting up a 1.69 ERA in 16 innings (with a 4.37 FIP and 5.26 DRA), but he only threw 16 innings due to lingering problems with shoulder surgery that ended his 2015.”

  24. I compare all pitching deliveries to Greg Maddox’. Maddox threw like he was using a fork and knife. Not so Urias. The young pitchers all seem to throw at a max, falling off to the side. That’s probably a reason for TJ and shoulder problems. I hope the scouts are right.

  25. Thanks Olive – I have a 2015 version and it is not there. Must have been added “afterward.” 😉

    It’s there alright. I just have a hard time giving it credence in light of what Philly ended up getting – SVS? I could see De Leon, but here’s what I always heard (this from Jayson Stark):

    [The Dodgers have] never been able to sell the Phillies on a package for Hamels that didn’t include someone like shortstop phenom Corey Seager or the Dodgers’ best pitching prospect, Julio Urias. We’ve heard rumblings that, if one of those two isn’t in the deal, the Phillies have asked for as many as six players back from the Dodgers’ 1-A prospect tier. And that ain’t happening, either.

    However, Molly Knight seems very credible to me.

    1. I’ll move this down here. It basically said that by that point in the season everyone knew that Urias and Seager were off limits. I’m sure that’s who Philly asked for before the 2015 season but by the deadline they knew they weren’t trading those two. It also said the Dodgers got distracted by other deals and allowed Texas to swoop in and get Hamels.

      1. I heard Steve Phillips say that Andrew Friedman was the most conservative and calculating GM in the game and that Alex Anthopoulos was among the most radical. Alex and Andrew are fast friends but I bet they have some battles. It says a lot about the Dodgers front office that they have conservatives like Friedman and Zaidi and radicals like Anthopoulos and Byrnes. That’s a spectacular dynamic.

        1. Friedman is definitely known as a window shopper and Alex went all in with the Blue Jays. Alex has been doing as many interviews as FAZ lately.

  26. It sounds like Alex Wood was added to JDL for Dozier and when the Twins didn’t want Wood they had a deal with him going to Seattle for a prospect more to the Twins liking.

    1. My next book is the one on early 60’s Dodgers that talks about all the crap Wills and Koufax went through. The Last Innocents it is called.

    1. I was impressed with Dayton last year. It’s possible he could be our setup man, but as Fangraphs says “IT’s a small sampling.” He will have to keep it up and I have no reason to believe he won’t. He just has to do it again… longer this time. He’s certainly an essential piece to the Dodgers pen.

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