It’s probably premature to suggest that, just as it was when Kershaw came up eight years ago. Nonetheless, Julio Urias will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the New York Mets in New York City on Friday, May 27, 2016. He’ll be the youngest pitcher to start for the Dodgers since one Fernando Valenzuela in September of 1980. Here are the five most recent starters to debut at a younger age:
- Felix Hernandez, SEA, 8/4/2005
- Todd Van Poppel, OAK, 9/11/1991
- Wilson Alvarez, CHW, 7/24/89
- Dwight Gooden, NYM, 4/7/84
- Britt Burns, CWS, 8/5/75
Three of those guys had pretty good careers (Burns had a hip injury which shortened his, and Van Poppel couldn’t make his fastball move much).
I can imagine how excited the youngster and his family are. Kiké Hernandez is amused in a funny way, of course:
My phone keeps telling me that there's a teenager pitching for us tomorrow! #UriasMania
— Enrique Hernández (@kikehndez) May 26, 2016
Urias has gone 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA over 41 innings for the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers, striking out 44 while walking 8, a 5.5 K/BB ratio.
Making your first major league start in New York City is being thrown into the deep end of the pool, but the Dodgers must be confident in the youngster. I wonder why they didn’t bring Stripling back up to replace Alex Wood, whose triceps soreness is the cause of this shift in the first place.