The up and down season for Julio Urias had another down this week with a rough outing against the Cardinals. The Dodger left-hander allowed 6 runs in 3 innings, all in a third inning where he served up 4 home runs. It was his third start of the season allowing 5 or more earned runs and actually led the team to look into potential pitch tipping. The investigation yielded different results.
Julio just hasn’t been all that good.
“I just think it’s been bad pitches,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “If you look at those pitches, there were some non-competitive pitches and the balls that they slugged, they were center cut.”
Via OC Register
Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior added much more context to OC Register scribe Bill Plunkett. Particularly focusing on his MLB-worst 14 home runs allowed.
“I think most of those, if you go back and look, were right down the middle. Mistake pitches. The majority of the time they were mistakes in execution. I would say the majority of them have been middle-middle or the fat part of the plate. A well-executed pitch (that gets hit out), you tip your hat to.”
So why the sudden shift this year? Prior said he feels the league has adjusted to Urias a bit. Maybe the ace has become a little too predictable.
“So it’s our responsibility to adapt to that and try to change that,” Prior said. “Getting away from maybe some tendencies that he’s got into.”
Last season, most of the damage done against Urias was done in the early innings with 18 runs scoring in the first inning alone in his 31 starts. This year, he’s spread the wealth with the first (8.10 ERA), third (7.20 ERA), and sixth innings (6.43 ERA) being roughest. Prior says the team will go to work on potentially switching up the strategy for Julio to get him back on track, but really, it seems like the biggest problem boils down to execution.
He’s become more hittable than ever, posting his worst batting average allowed since his a 20-year-old in 2017. He’s also allowing the highest slugging percentage of his career. Too many hittable pitches getting punished. And something needs to change.