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Urias could return to rotation later in season

'He's awfully valuable in any role,' Roberts says of versatile lefty
@kengurnick
July 14, 2019

BOSTON -- As effective as Julio Urías has been in the hybrid role of lefty long reliever, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the club still entertains the possibility of moving him into the starting rotation later in the year. “Not right now, but that’s a conversation probably more down the

BOSTON -- As effective as Julio Urías has been in the hybrid role of lefty long reliever, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the club still entertains the possibility of moving him into the starting rotation later in the year.

“Not right now, but that’s a conversation probably more down the road,” Roberts said. “We know that he’s been in this role, but when you’re talking the end of August, there’s plenty of time to build up. He’s awfully valuable in any role.”

Urias is 3-1 with three saves, a 1.76 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. Since June 5, he has pitched 17 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, with opposing hitters going 4-for-54. As a starter in April, when Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill were injured, Urias was 1-1 with a 3.66 ERA in four starts.

Urias was sent to the bullpen to limit his innings two years after left shoulder surgery. He has pitched 53 1/3 innings and overall is 4-2 with a 2.36 ERA and a .171 opponents' batting average.

• The Dodgers flew in Minor League pitcher Marcus Solbach just to throw game-speed batting practice to Joc Pederson, who is expected to return to the starting lineup Monday night in Philadelphia. Pederson competed in the All-Star Home Run Derby, but hasn’t started since July 6 because the Red Sox started three lefties.

“It’s going to be a week for him to take live at-bats,” Roberts said. “It’s great for the organization to fly somebody in from Arizona to give him some quality at-bats. Joc got a lot out of it and it gives him the best chance to prepare for the coming days.”

• Roberts called an audible and did not start Corey Seager for a third consecutive day after his stint on the injured list with a strained left hamstring. Roberts said he wanted Seager to “get his legs back under him” with three anticipated starts upcoming in Philadelphia.

Seager went 0-for-9 with two strikeouts and a double-play grounder in the first two games in Boston. He was replaced by Chris Taylor.

“He’s always going to be aggressive, but I think he was out of the strike zone too much,” Roberts said. “It doesn’t matter how good you are or how good your swing is, if you’re not swinging at strikes, it’s going to be tough sledding.”

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.