Dodgers Calling Up Uber Prospect Urias

The news is LA Dodgers uber prospect Julio Urias is being brought up (already started at the time I'm writing this, getting hit a bit, not the reason I'm writing this, and could make this post moot).

ogc thoughts

I'm not terribly afraid of Urias coming up.  Not that he isn't a great pitching prospect, not that I don't expect him to do really well as a SP for LAD.  It's because he's not going to be around for all that long.  His previous high in innings pitched before this season is 87.2 IP.   He's already at 41.0 IP.

The Giants have gone way beyond the rule that Tom Verducci has been promulgating since he talked with former A's pitching coach, Rick Peterson, that a young pitcher should not increase the number of innings he throws in a season by more than 25-30 innings.  He writes about this almost every year, and the article I linked to is the one he wrote after Bumgarner added 46.2 IP in 2014.   The Giants have jumped beyond that limit frequently, doing that with Cain, Sanchez, Lincecum, and Bumgarner.

For examples, Cain leaped 84.2 IP in 2004, another 33.1 IP in 2005.  Bumgarner 72.2 IP in 2010, then 46.2 IP in 2014 (I wrote about this when it happened, this don't apply as much for Madison because he used to throw a heck of a lot in between starts, so much that when he came to the majors in 2009, he found out major league pitchers throw a lot less, and so he thought he might back off some, which I doubt he did).

Urias Most Likely Won't Pitch That Many Starts This Season

Let's say they let Urias get to 137.2 IP.  That's another 96.2 IP, maybe 15-20 starts, which would stop him down the stretch (roughly 23 starts left in the season), when a playoff contending team would presumably need him most.  That was the issue with young pitchers like Strasburg and Harvey, when their teams thought about taking them out of the rotation and shutting him down for the season.

However, LAD is run by a sabermetric oriented front office.   And most sabers are much more worried about pitch count and PAP, much like Verducci.  If he is limited to 30 IP jump, then that is only 10-15 starts left to pitch, which could mean he would be taken out of the rotation by the ASB.  And given that he's being hit hard right now, got took out before he could end the 3rd inning.  Not an auspicious start, so this post could be moot, or it could just be nerves and he'll be better in his next start.  In any case, I don't see how he can pitch that many games for them.

Or course, maybe they just want to use him as a bridge to acquiring a veteran pitcher by mid-season, that's possible.

In any case, another thing that bothers me, if I were a Dodger's fan, is that they actually stopped him from pitching more innings in 2015.  They jumped him 33.1 IP in 2014, so if they had done that again in 2015, then he would have been at 121.0 IP last season, and could reach roughly 155 IP this season.  There could have been some physical reason why they did that, and if so, then that's another more important reason why they should take it easy on him in terms of IP jumps, because an injury usually portends future injuries, not if, but when.