Rehabbing Urias remains in limbo

Team could use left-hander as long reliever; Roberts compliments Bellinger for turnaround

August 19th, 2018

SEATTLE -- The clock is ticking, but the Dodgers think there's still time for to have an impact on the 2018 season.

Monday marks 15 months since his last Dodgers game. On Tuesday, Urias is scheduled for a fifth Minor League rehab game in what has turned into a longer-than-expected recovery from left shoulder surgery.

Manager Dave Roberts said it hasn't been decided what level Urias will pitch at on Tuesday, but he's allowed home runs in both of his last two appearances.

Roberts reports that radar-gun readings indicate Urias is healthy. The manager said he isn't worried about Urias being rusty from not having enough high-level competition.

"We'll bring him when he's ready," said Roberts. "Don't question the head. He's just got to log appearances and I still think that we have time. And then we'll see by performance. We have time. He'll come when he's ready."

Urias is being viewed as a possible relief option, but the club is trying to stretch him out for multiple innings. Roberts said his next outing is planned for three innings or 45 pitches.

"He'll have a few days down and then we'll evaluate from there," said Roberts.

Urias has been given either five or six days between appearances so far. With expanded rosters in September, the Dodgers will be able to give Urias plenty of time to recover. Resting relievers in October is another type of challenge.

Roberts praises Bellinger's perseverance

Roberts said has lived through a tough sophomore season and persevered, "which says a lot about him."

Last year's unanimous Rookie of the Year has an 11-game hitting streak and leads MLB in August with a .423 average and .508 on-base percentage. He's raised his OPS 43 points this month.

"With Cody, there's a maturing that's going on," said Roberts. "He's struggled more than he's ever struggled and to come out on the other side is part of it. The other part of it is not always trying to chase slug. The most dangerous hitters in baseball get on base and they slug. The value of a walk and staying in the strike zone is huge.

"There's some mechanical things he's changed, some are subtle, some are not. But there's an approach, too. He and [Justin] Turner have talked at length about it. When you struggle and you don't see that a walk is as good as a hit and you're chasing hits, that's a tough strategy. Right now, he's trying to not make outs and that's the goal."