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Urias set to start for OKC this week

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- The puzzling circumstances surrounding Julio Urias continued on Tuesday when the Dodgers announced the lefty had been optioned to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, even though it was also announced he will start this week for Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he had been optioned to five days earlier.

"Honestly, what it is is a paper move," manager Dave Roberts said. "Julio is going to make his next start for Oklahoma City, but I guess the mechanics of it, he's got to be on the Rancho roster. What I do know is he's on the Rancho roster and he's going to make his next start in the next five days for Oklahoma City."

Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- The puzzling circumstances surrounding Julio Urias continued on Tuesday when the Dodgers announced the lefty had been optioned to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, even though it was also announced he will start this week for Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he had been optioned to five days earlier.

"Honestly, what it is is a paper move," manager Dave Roberts said. "Julio is going to make his next start for Oklahoma City, but I guess the mechanics of it, he's got to be on the Rancho roster. What I do know is he's on the Rancho roster and he's going to make his next start in the next five days for Oklahoma City."

Full Game Coverage

Urias, despite being considered one of the club's five best starting pitchers, did not make the Opening Day roster. Club officials at the time said his early workload would be throttled back in the Minor Leagues to protect his 20-year-old arm and assure that he has innings left in September and October.

The club did not indicate then, or now, how much Urias would pitch in the Minor Leagues; when he would be called up to the Major Leagues; or how many total innings he would be allowed to pitch this year.

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 and postseason, 82 2/3 of them in the Major Leagues, where he went 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA with 84 strikeouts.

By comparison, when Clayton Kershaw was 19 in 2007, he pitched 122 innings at Class A and Double-A. When Kershaw was 20, he pitched 171 innings between Double-A and the Majors.

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

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Julio Urias