Dodgers play the Cubs today on Memorial Day at Wrigley Field, the second oldest ballpark in the MLB.
Julio Cesar Urias, age 19 years, 9 months, and 14 days, will be the starting pitcher against the New York Mets tomorrow, Friday, May 27, 2016. Not to be too hasty in making comparisons, but other notable left handed Dodger pitchers made their debuts:
Sandy Koufax, age 19 years, 5 months, 25 days
Fernando Valenzuela, age 19 years, 10 months, 14 days
Clayton Kershaw, age 20, 2 months, 1 day – what a slacker! [calm down, you know I love ya.]
Julio Urias was discovered during the same June 2012 scouting trip that landed Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers paid a $450,000 signing fee, most of which went to his Mexican team, to sign Urias. He has spent three and a third seasons in the minor leagues, averaging a 2.78 ERA and a WHIP of 1.081. His innings pitched were 54 in 2013, 87 in 2014, and 80 in 2015.
Urias has been burning up AAA ball with the Oklahoma City Dodgers this year. His record is 4-1, with an ERA of 1.10, a WHIP of 0.780, and 44 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched. He comes into the big leagues riding a 27 inning scoreless streak in AAA.
Regardless of whether this is a spot start, one of a few starts until Ryu is ready, or whatever, this will be an exciting day for all Dodger fans and for one Julio Urias.
What have the Dodgers come to? A team that cannot beat the Angels unless the greatest pitcher in the world (Clayton Kershaw) is starting. A team that cannot beat the Padres unless they go seventeen innings. A team that cannot hit. A team on which the closer cannot seal the deal. A team on which one Yasiel Puig does not know to advance to third base on a bunt to the third baseman.
At least today, Dave Roberts will hand the ball back to Clayton Kershaw and let him do his thing. Why Clayton didn’t start yesterday’s game is a good question. Clayton has the chance to once again prove that he is the stopper. But what happens on Tuesday, and Wednesday, and on every day that Kershaw does not pitch? Clayton Kershaw and pray for rain, rain, rain, and rain.
Sorry for the downcast post. Perhaps that’s what we get when the team is losing more than it is winning.
The Dodgers start a home-and-away four game series (2 and 2) with the Angels tonight. Going into the series, the Dodgers are one game behind the Giants, while the Angels are in third place, five and a half games behind the Rangers.
The starting pitchers in this two-and-two series are:
Matt Shoemaker (1-5) at Kenta Maeda (3-2)
Jared Weaver (3-2) at Clayton Kershaw (5-1)
Mike Bolsinger (0-0) at Nick Tropeano (1-2)
Ross Stripling (1-2) at Jhoulys Chacin (1-2)
Some of the Dodgers offensive performers simply are not performing so far this year. The following shows each player’s BA/OBP/SLG/OPS for 2015 and 2016:
Justin Turner .294/.370/.491/.861 versus .240/.324/.331/.654
Yasiel Puig .255/.322/.436/.758 versus .234/.276/.380/.655
Carl Crawford .265/.304/.403/.707 versus .196/.240/.283/.523
Kike Hernandez .307/.346/.490/.836 versus .194/.284/.319/.603
Howie Kendrick .295/.336/.409/.746 versus .202/.235/.213/.447