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Urias could make '17 debut this week

MLB.com @kengurnick

PHOENIX -- Manager Dave Roberts said 20-year-old Julio Urias' next start might be for the Dodgers this coming week.

Urias has been throttled back in the Minor Leagues by a management wanting to limit his innings. But with veteran left-hander Rich Hill not ready to return from a chronic finger blister and his Friday night replacement, lefty Alex Wood, needed in the bullpen, Urias could make his 2017 debut as early as Wednesday in San Francisco.

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PHOENIX -- Manager Dave Roberts said 20-year-old Julio Urias' next start might be for the Dodgers this coming week.

Urias has been throttled back in the Minor Leagues by a management wanting to limit his innings. But with veteran left-hander Rich Hill not ready to return from a chronic finger blister and his Friday night replacement, lefty Alex Wood, needed in the bullpen, Urias could make his 2017 debut as early as Wednesday in San Francisco.

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"He might," a coy Roberts said before Saturday night's game against the D-backs. "Cryptic. We'll see. That start yesterday was the way it was supposed to look."

Urias threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings and 93 pitches, which would set him up to pitch as deep as the Dodgers are willing to let him go. Roberts said that means another five-inning start, somewhere.

"He's getting close, getting real close," Roberts said. "We don't know yet. He's tracking. He's right where he needs to be."

On Saturday, injured lefties Hill, Grant Dayton and Scott Kazmir threw bullpen sessions. Roberts said Dayton is expected to come off the disabled list on Friday and Kazmir needs to show more consistency in a slow recovery from an unspecified left hip issue.

Hill threw his 25-pitch session with a bandage to protect his tender middle finger, but the covering isn't allowed in a real game. Roberts said Hill "tinkered" with a new grip and would need a Minor League rehab start before he is activated. He reiterated that the bullpen is an option if Hill's finger won't hold up to the pitch count of a starter.

"I assume we'll work our way into long toss without anything covering it, then a bullpen uncovered," said Hill. "It's toughened up for sure."

Among the remedies Hill said he's tried are pickle juice, Drysol to absorb perspiration, plunging the digit in a bucket of rice to further dry the skin and applications of former trainer Stan Johnston's Rodeo Rub.

"The only research or studies are on long-distance runners, marathoners and ultra-marathoners, and it's dealing with foot blisters," he said. "We've contacted a few people that specialize in blisters. The feet, though, include taping, which we can't do. It's all about callousing it. It's a mixture of things. And throwing, conditioning the finger that way, it's about getting it calloused without the blister."

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Rich Hill, Julio Urias