DENVER — The wait for Julio Urias to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation is almost over, says manager Dave Roberts.
Los Angeles Dodgers injury update: When will Julio Urias return?
Placed on the injured list on May 20 (retroactive to May 19) with a left hamstring strain, Roberts told reporters before the Los Angeles Dodgers opened a three-game road series against the Colorado Rockies that Urias is expected to make a return to the Dodgers rotation on Saturday in Kansas City against the Royals.
“He pitched really well in Rancho (Cucamonga, site of the Low-A team for the Dodgers) and feels good coming out of it,” Roberts said. “He showed really well so it’s good to have him on track.”
Facing Lake Elsinore (the Low-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres), Urias allowed two hits and one run over 4.0 innings. He walked one batter while recording eight strikeouts. It’s expected that will be his only rehab assignment before rejoining the Dodgers in Kansas City.
Urias will “stabilize” the rotation when he returns against the Royals, Roberts said. In 55.1 innings this season spanning 10 starts, Urias has posted a 4.39 ERA/5.29 FIP/1.157 WHIP to go along with a 4-3 record.
The 26-year-old southpaw is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the season, but Roberts is looking ahead to what Urias can mean for the Dodgers the rest of this campaign as they enter Tuesday’s action 3.0 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West standings.
“He’s a world champion pitcher and an All-Star so to have him back in the rotation, I think he’s going to come back with some vengeance,” Roberts said. “I think this year was certainly highly anticipated for him and it hasn’t gone the way he had expected, so I think he’s going to be on a mission.”