Everything is going right on the field for the NL West-leading Dodgers, who beat the Rockies on Friday for their eighth consecutive win. However, the news isn’t as positive off the field.
Julio Urias, the Dodgers’ 20-year-old prized pitching prospect, will miss the rest of this season and at least part of the 2018 season because of upcoming shoulder surgery. The estimated recovery time is an alarming 12-14 months.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told MLB.com that Urias “was devastated in the beginning. Right now, he’s down, frankly. He wants to be here, helping these guys, wants to be a part of it. Not something that’s going to happen this year.”
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The Dodgers are encouraged because of Urias’ age and the fact that the damage is to his anterior capsule – not his rotator cuff or labrum. Still, shoulder surgery is much more of an unknown than elbow surgery in terms of a pitcher making a full recovery.
Urias made his major-league debut last season at the age of 19, posting a 3.39 ERA and a 9.8 K/9 ratio in 18 games (15 starts). The left-hander was less effective in five starts this season (5.40 ERA, 4.2 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, 1.59 WHIP) before being sent to Triple-A, where he began to feel shoulder discomfort during a June 10 start.