Julio Urias' impressive 27-inning scoreless streak at triple-A Oklahoma City was put on hold for a very compelling reason—the Dodgers' 19-year-old pitching phenom will make his major league debut Friday night against the New York Mets in Citi Field.
The club announced Thursday morning that left-hander Alex Wood was scratched from Friday night's start because of left triceps soreness and that Urias was expected to be recalled from triple-A to pitch. Wood is scheduled to make his next start Monday in Chicago against the Cubs.
Urias, rated as the top pitching prospect in the game by Baseball America, is 4-1 with a 1.10 earned-run average in eight games, seven of them starts, for Oklahoma City, striking out 44 and walking eight in 41 innings. He has not thrown more than six innings or 82 pitches in any of his starts.
Armed with a fastball that ranges from 91 to 96 mph, a big breaking ball that can buckle the knees of opposing hitters, a fading changeup and an advanced feel for pitching, Urias has drawn comparisons to David Price.
In four minor league seasons, the native of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico has a 2.80 ERA with 308 strikeouts and 83 walks in 263 1/3 innings. At 19 years, 289 days old on Friday, Urias will be the youngest Dodgers starting pitcher since Dick Calmus on Aug. 23, 1963.
Former Dodgers star Fernando Valenzuela, another pitcher Urias is often compared to because of their Mexican roots, was also 19 when he made his Dodgers debut in 1980. The other Dodgers pitchers who made their major league debuts at 19: Sandy Koufax (1955), Don Drysdale (1956) and Joe Moeller (1962).