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Dodgers tab Urias to start San Francisco finale

MLB.com @kengurnick

SAN FRANCISCO -- Julio Urias will start for the Dodgers in Thursday's series finale against the Giants, manager Dave Roberts confirmed Tuesday.

Urias will be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he pitched 14 innings in three starts after beginning the year in extended spring camp despite being one of the club's best pitchers in Spring Training.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Julio Urias will start for the Dodgers in Thursday's series finale against the Giants, manager Dave Roberts confirmed Tuesday.

Urias will be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he pitched 14 innings in three starts after beginning the year in extended spring camp despite being one of the club's best pitchers in Spring Training.

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The kid-glove treatment is part of management's experiment to limit Urias' innings early in the season so he can pitch in September and October without jeopardizing his 20-year-old arm.

Roberts said Urias is expected to remain in the rotation and not be shuttled in and out as the season progresses.

"That was why we did what we did, to shorten the season or condense it, to get Julio here and he can be here for the duration," said Roberts.

In 2015, at four Minor League stops, an 18-year-old Urias threw a combined 80 1/3 innings. In 2016 that number jumped to 127 2/3 innings in the regular season and postseason, 82 2/3 of them in the Major Leagues, where he went 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA and 84 strikeouts in the regular season.

By comparison, in Clayton Kershaw's 19-year-old season of 2007, he pitched 122 innings at Class A and Double-A. In his 20-year-old season of 2008, Kershaw pitched 171 innings at Double-A and the Major Leagues.

Urias will give the Dodgers a six-man rotation this time through; however, Roberts said this week that he expects that to be a one-time occurrence. Among the candidates to be bumped from the rotation are the struggling Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood, who would probably return to the bullpen in a long relief role.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Julio Urias