Five bullpen mounds separated Julio Urias and Jose De Leon as they took aim Tuesday. The two young pitchers are expected to begin the season in the minors, but
"For young players, it's just a good thing to be around major league players, to learn and see how they go about things," Roberts said. "A lot of times, young players get by on talent alone. But the challenge is to really be a student of the game and learn why you have success and why guys don't have success. The sky's the limit for both those guys."
Urias, a 19-year-old left-hander from Mexico, is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 4 prospect in the game. De Leon, a 23-year-old right-hander from Puerto Rico, is No. 23. They are slated to begin the season with triple-A Oklahoma City.
A.J. Ellis caught Urias earlier this spring and noticed the improved sharpness of his pitches as compared to last year. Roberts said others have seen evidence of Urias' growing maturity.
"In talking to the people that were here in years prior, he's got a different look in his eye," Roberts said. "He's got that confidence, where he's no longer this young kid with the blessed arm. Right now, he feels like at the major league level, there's a real opportunity this year to make an impact. And that's a good thing."
Trying to catch on
The catching situation for the Dodgers appears to be set, with
"You can't ignore Austin Barnes," Roberts said. "You've got to like the bat and the athleticism, the versatility he creates."
Barnes, 26, hit .315 with nine home runs and 17 doubles in 81 games for Oklahoma City in 2015. He hit .207 during a 20-game cameo with the Dodgers.