Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said today that Julio Urias could begin the year in extended spring training in an effort to limit his innings.
Urias, who is only 20, threw 122 innings last season between the big leagues and the minors It’s just one of a number of options on the table. Urias logged 122 innings between the majors and the minors in 2016, and another 5.2 innings in the postseason. That’s a step up from his previous workloads and moving up to a 180-200 inning load which would be expected of him if he’s in the rotation all year is a lot to ask.
At the moment Urias projects to be the Dodgers’ fourth starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda, but there are other arms who could step up if Urias were to have his workload lessened in 2017, including Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who said yesterday that he’s feeling good after missing a lot of time.
The smart money, of course, is that if the Dodgers are, as expected, contenders once again, Urias will be a part of that success and will be counted on to take the ball come September and October. All of which makes ensuring that he’s got something left in the tank then of paramount importance.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.