After 'extremely disappointing' Julio Urías arrest, Dodgers mull options

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Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Andrew Friedman said Julio Urías' arrest on felony domestic violence charges was "extremely disappointing" and noted that the organization is considering multiple options for its pitching staff in light of the left-hander's uncertain future.

Friedman and manager Dave Roberts both addressed reporters Tuesday in the Dodgers' most extensive commentary since Urías was arrested late Sunday in Los Angeles. It marked the second domestic violence arrest in the past four years for Urías, who is not with the Dodgers on their six-game road trip.

"Obviously, extremely disappointing development," Friedman said. "For us right now, it's having him and his representatives resolve this while we're focused on both the near and long term."

Roberts said he was "shocked" when he was informed of Urías' arrest.

"I was shocked -- everyone was," Roberts said before the Dodgers' loss Tuesday to the Miami Marlins. "It is just an extremely unfortunate circumstance for everyone."

Major League Baseball has opened an investigation into Urías' arrest, and the eight-year veteran is expected to be placed on administrative leave before his next scheduled start on Thursday.

Department of Public Safety issued a a brief statement Wednesday confirming the arrest for a violation of Penal Code 273.5, which is corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. Corporal injury on a spouse requires a bodily injury being willfully caused by physical force and is a felony.

DPS offered no details on the circumstances of the arrest, but asked for any witnesses with information regarding the incident to contact them.

Urías, 27, also was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery in May 2019 and was suspended 20 games by MLB, but he wasn't prosecuted by the Los Angeles city attorney on the condition he complete a 52-week domestic violence counseling program. No player has been suspended twice under MLB's joint domestic violence policy since it was established in 2015.

Neither Friedman nor Roberts would comment Tuesday when asked whether they anticipated Urías returning to the Dodgers this season. Urías, who posted $50,000 bail and was released early Monday morning, is due in court Sept. 27.

"We don't know anything more today than we knew yesterday," Friedman said, according to The Athletic. "Our guys are pros. Obviously, they're concerned about the situation. ... But they're also pros and they're focused on going out tonight and winning a baseball game. That doesn't mean they're not concerned but they're able to shift their focus and lock in on the task at hand."

"For us, now it's day to day," Roberts said. "I don't want to get too far ahead of things. As time's gone on with certain things, you learn that simplifying, day to day, is the best way to handle it."

The Dodgers (84-53) enter Wednesday with a 14-game lead atop the National League West and are close to clinching their 11th consecutive postseason appearance. The loss of Urías, who has a 3.68 ERA in 23 career postseason appearances, would leave the Dodgers with a relatively thin rotation after veterans Clayton Kershaw and Lance Lynn.

"There are still so many unknowns that we haven't wrapped our arms around that yet," Friedman said. "We feel like we're going to have a lot of talent on our pitching staff in October. We might not know exactly who the 13 are going to be right now, but we feel very confident that we will be bringing some big-boy stuff to the table."

Injured starters Tony Gonsolin and Dustin Mayare out for the remainder of the season for the Dodgers, who hope to have Walker Buehler back on their pitching staff before the end of the season.

The two-time All-Star right-hander is expected to make a minor league rehab start Friday as he continues his return from Tommy John surgery, but Roberts said that Urias' situation would have "no bearing on [Buehler's] progression."

Dodgers rookies Bobby Miller, Emmet Sheehan and Ryan Pepiot all have flashed potential as starting pitchers this season and could end up as part of their postseason rotation. Sheehan, who is still on Los Angeles' roster, and Pepiot, who was optioned to the minors last week, are candidates to fill Urías' rotation spot for Thursday's series finale in Miami.

"We'll address it, if it gets to that point," Roberts said. "But we do have a lot of viable options in-house, guys that have experience and have performed. I don't want to go too far down that road, but we've still got a lot of good players if it gets to that point."

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesperson said Tuesday that Urías was arrested in Exposition Park, south of downtown Los Angeles. The park is home to BMO Stadium, where Lionel Messi and Inter Miami were playing in an MLS game with numerous celebrities in attendance.

Urías is 11-8 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 starts this season and is set to become a free agent after the World Series. He is pitching on a $14.25 million, one-year contract in his final season of salary arbitration eligibility.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.