Julio Urias makes 2017 debut with OKC Dodgers

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs in game four of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo

The Los Angeles Dodgers are expecting big things from Julio Urias this season. 

Because of these expectations, however, Dodgers fans will not be seeing Urias at the MLB level in the immediate future. Urias has been stashed in the minors to begin the season in an attempt to save his young arm for late-season and the playoffs. 

The 20-year-old made his 2017 debut with the Triple-A OKC Dodgers on Monday, delivering a performance that sparked both optimism and concerns.

In 3 2/3 innings, Urias struggled with command. He allowed two hits and two runs, while walking four batters and -- perhaps most concerning for a player looking to save his arm -- throwing 79 pitches.

The outing also reminded fans why Urias is so highly regarded, though. The left-hander struck out five batters in his abbreviated appearance, and showed poise despite a rough start. Seven of Urias' first eight pitches were called balls, but he would bounce back to throw 44 strikes over his final 71 pitches of the afternoon.

The Dodgers would win the game 5-2, with Layne Somsen being credited with the victory.

Photo: Getty Images

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