Interesting news out of Dodgers camp, as 17-year-old Julio Urias is starting this afternoon’s Cactus League game against the Padres. Just to put things into perspective, he was born in August of 1996, less than two months after Tommy Lasorda managed his final game in Dodger Blue. Feeling old yet?
Urias, a native of Mexico, has quickly emerged as one of the team’s top pitching prospects. Checking in at 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, the southpaw posted a 2.48 ERA and 67/16 K/BB ratio over 54 1/3 innings with Class A Great Lakes last year during his first season of pro ball. Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 51 prospect in the game.
The Padres are playing plenty of regulars today, including Will Venable, Chris Denorfia, Yonder Alonso, and Seth Smith, so this should be a good test for the young phenom. File this name away.
Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates released Francisco Cervelli. Yesterday he was signed by the Braves. Atlanta gave him the start behind the plate and he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in to help his new team to victory over the Mets. Welcome to Atlanta, Frankie.
Cervelli had been rehabbing from a concussion and hadn’t seen big league action since late May. He was ready to come back, though, and the Pirates — who are going nowhere — gave him his release so that he might join a contender for the stretch run.
The performance he put up last night, obviously will not be the norm for him going forward. But it’s also the case that his early 2019 batting line of .193/.279/.248 is not indicative of his talent level either. He posted an .809 OPS (122 OPS+) in 2018, and if he gives Atlanta anything even approaching his usual production it’ll help stabilize a shaky catching situation for the Braves.