Urias is feel­ing bet­ter men­tally af­ter surgery

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL - By Pe­dro Moura pe­dro.moura@la­times.com Twit­ter: @pe­dro­moura

PHOENIX — Julio Urias vis­ited Chase Field to meet with Dodgers of­fi­cials Wed­nes­day. They planned to de­lin­eate how he would pro­ceed in his re­cov­ery from surgery for the torn an­te­rior cap­sule in his left shoul­der.

Tues­day marked six weeks since Urias’ sea­son-end­ing surgery, per­formed by Dr. Neal ElAt­tra­che. In the days sur­round­ing the oper­a­tion, the Dodgers did not make Urias avail­able to speak to re­porters. Oth­ers spoke for him, in­clud­ing Scott Bo­ras, his agent, and An­drew Fried­man, the Dodgers’ pres­i­dent of base­ball op­er­a­tions. Fried­man cited his frus­tra­tion and de­spair upon learn­ing what awaited the top pitch­ing prospect.

Speak­ing for the first time since the surgery, Urias said he had trou­ble pro­cess­ing the re­al­ity that his ca­reer would be set back so sig­nif­i­cantly.

“I had a lot of emo­tions,” Urias said through in­ter­preter Je­sus Quinonez. “You feel sad­ness. You feel an­gry. Ev­ery­thing goes to your head. You think about your ca­reer, ev­ery­thing you’ve done to get to that point.

“I tried to get out of that stage as fast as I could. Now I feel very mo­ti­vated and ready for ev­ery­thing.”

Man­ager Dave Roberts said he sensed from con­ver­sa­tion that Urias had re­cently ad­justed his per­spec­tive.

“He had clar­ity,” Roberts said. “And, in re­cent weeks, he hadn’t re­ally had that.”

Urias will turn 21 on Satur­day. Af­ter de­but­ing at 19 a year ago and suc­ceed­ing, the pre­co­cious left-han­der walked more men than he struck out in an early-sea­son stint with the Dodgers. Three weeks af­ter he was sent down to triple-A Ok­la­homa City, he tore the cap­sule amid an eight-strike­out start.

Pain pre­cip­i­tated more than a week of in­ac­tion, which prompted sev­eral tests, and, even­tu­ally, the di­ag­no­sis, con­sid­ered one of the most se­vere a pitcher can re­ceive. When ma­jor lea­guers have had the surgery Urias un­der­went, they have of­ten been un­able to re­claim their peak form.

“I’m not scared,” Urias said of that pos­si­bil­ity. “I’m think­ing pos­i­tively, 100%. I’m think­ing about com­ing back and think­ing I may be even bet­ter if I put in the work. I’m not wor­ried about be­ing the same player, com­ing back the same way. I’m just be­ing pos­i­tive and get­ting my work in.”

Urias said he was en­cour­aged by ElAt­tra­che’s cheery post-oper­a­tion re­port, which stated that “ev­ery­thing was bet­ter than ex­pected.” Un­like most sim­i­lar tears, Urias’ lacked scar tis­sue in the area be­cause it had torn in an acute fash­ion.

“He ob­vi­ously can’t guar­an­tee any­thing,” Urias said of ElAt­tra­che. “That de­pends on my re­hab and how much work I put in, but af­ter a month and a cou­ple days, I feel re­ally good.”

Fried­man has ex­pressed hope Urias could pitch in 2018. Urias was un­sure when he could re­turn.

“When God wants me to,” he said, “and when I’m ready.”

Urias said he had re­ceived lots of en­cour­ag­ing mes­sages from ballplay­ers. He par­tic­u­larly prized the note he re­ceived from Wash­ing­ton re­liever Oliver Perez, who like him hails from Cu­li­a­can, Mex­ico.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the ad­vice from ev­ery­one,” Urias said. “But some­times when your coun­try­man reaches out, it helps send the mes­sage even clearer.”

Short hops

Clay­ton Ker­shaw’s first bullpen ses­sion since his July 23 back in­jury is sched­uled for Fri­day at Dodger Sta­dium. … Roberts re­it­er­ated his ex­pec­ta­tion that out­fielder An­dre Ethier, 35, will soon be­gin a re­hab as­sign­ment. He said Sept. 1 re­mains a re­al­is­tic ac­ti­va­tion date for Ethier, who has bat­ted only 26 times since 2015. Ethier took bat­ting prac­tice at Chase Field.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.