The initial plan was for Julio Urias to begin the season as a reliever. The thinking was the Dodgers could closely monitor his workload two years after major shoulder surgery and ensure he would be available in the playoffs -- possibly as a starter. But Rich Hill’s strained medial collateral ligament has complicated matters. The Dodgers need to replace the veteran lefty in the rotation and they will go with their young one.
Urias’ next outing is scheduled for Tuesday in the Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium. He is then slated to start against either the Arizona Diamondbacks the following Sunday or the San Francisco Giants in the fifth game of the season.
As a result, the Dodgers will choose someone to complete their eight-man bullpen. Right-handers Kevin Quackenbush and Stetson Allie are the only relievers still in major league camp who aren’t projected to make the opening day roster. But neither is on the 40-man roster. Other options with relief experience on the 40-man roster include right-handers JT Chargois, Jaime Schultz and Josh Sborz, and left-handers Donnie Hart and Adam McCreery.
Chargois, 28, was the last of the group sent to minor league camp. He was optioned Wednesday after allowing four runs in 6⅔ innings this spring. He posted a 3.34 earned-run average in 39 games for the Dodgers last season.
Joc Pederson was not in the Dodgers’ lineup Friday after exiting Thursday’s game with back spasms. Roberts, however, insisted the decision was precautionary.
“He could’ve played [Friday] and finished the game, and could’ve played today but there’s not a whole lot of upside,” Roberts said.
Roberts added he expects the outfielder to play in all three games in the Freeway Series.