Dodgers weigh options on Urias' starting point

Lefty could begin season in extended spring training

Dodgers weigh options on Urias' starting point

PHOENIX -- Julio Urias will make his first Cactus League start Tuesday and take another step toward being ready to start the regular season. Exactly where he starts the season remains uncertain.

"They haven't told me yet," Urias, 20, said. "We talked a few times and we have gone over various options. I'll do what they want me to do. We will see how Spring Training goes from here."

Urias jumped from 80 1/3 innings in 2015 to 127 2/3 innings in '16, and the club is considering several options in an effort to keep him available late in the season. One option is to have the left-hander open the season in extended spring training. Another is to start him in the big leagues, but cut his starts short.

For their part, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the club does not need to make a decision now, and it continues to evaluate the starting rotation as it takes shape.

"I think it's something we continue to talk through and ultimately for us, it's what's best for Julio and what's best for us," Roberts said. "I think that there is a certain innings limit that he's going to have this year and we all understand that and we all accept that. We want him to be ready to go in September and beyond."

Urias' workout program back home in Culiacan, Mexico, included light throwing, conditioning and specific weight training four or five days a week.

"All I can do is focus on doing a good job. That's my part," Urias said. "Obviously, I'd like to start the season in the Major Leagues. That's why I worked so hard in the offseason to prepare. If it doesn't work out that way, I'll do my best until I get opportunity."

Worth noting

• Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez's bruised right thumb is still bothering him, and he said he doesn't know when he will be able to throw off the mound.

"Right now, I'm just playing catch," Baez said in Spanish. "It bothers me a little bit, but I'll be fine. I'll be back as soon as I can."

Baez, who had a 3.04 ERA in 73 appearances last season, missed a bullpen session last week after he was hit in the lower part of the thumb while throwing live batting practice. X-rays were negative.

"It's more of a bone-bruise type of thing, so he's feeling a little something when he's throwing so we are just trying to take it slow," manager Dave Roberts said. "The imaging was all negative as I understand it, and hopefully he'll be out there soon."

Scott Kazmir will likely be the starter on Wednesday against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch on a back field.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.