Urias' spring debut runs gamut of emotions

Talented left-hander strikes out side, gives up 3 runs

March 11th, 2016

PHOENIX -- For his first spring game appearance, Dodgers lefty Julio Urias had the kind of full-spectrum outing one might expect from a teenage talent.

Urias, MLBPipeline.com's No.4 prospect, struck out the side in his first inning -- in the seventh with the Dodgers leading, 4-3 -- then couldn't get an out in his second. He was charged with three runs on three hits and a walk, but came away from the 8-4 loss to the Angels at least feeling no pain from the tight groin that delayed his debut.

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"The groin feels good and that's the most important thing for me," said Urias.

"He was fine," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "The ball was coming out really well. He was excited and he elevated a little bit too much, and they made him pay."

Roberts lifted Urias at the 40-pitch mark, after allowing a single, a double, a triple and walk to the first four Angels in the eighth inning, his second.

Roberts deflected a question when asked if Urias had a realistic chance to win the fifth spot in the rotation when the season starts, as management is monitoring his innings after he threw only 80 1/3 last year.

"It's realistic in the sense we are talking about an innings limit, whether in the beginning of the season or taper at the finish, here or in Triple-A," said Roberts. "If he's throwing well enough, we feel good enough for him to be in that spot.

"We're still sensitive to his pitch count. It's just him growing, he has to get through certain spots. This was still a productive outing for him."

Urias acknowledged his adrenaline was flowing in the early going and he tried to calm down. He said he struggled with fastball command and also had to make an adjustment to warm up during a game for relief duty compared to his normal starting routine.

Urias said he had not been contacted to participate for his native Mexico in the World Baseball Classic qualifier (Adrian Gonzalez will play for Mexico). Roberts said any chance of that was ruled out when Urias sustained the groin tightness last week that left him a few days behind the other pitchers.