Dodgers await next steps after Julio Urrea arrest: ‘Very disappointing’
Miami – For most of a Tuesday afternoon, the visiting club at LoanDepot Park showed little sign that something was amiss. The batters were moving in and out of the cage, talking about the beginning of that night. Club televisions tuned to the MLB Network showed discussion of the remaining tight pennant races with a month left in the regular season.
The room showed no trace of Julio Llorías being with the Dodgers. Ureas was supposed to start Thursday’s game. But the club’s opening day player did not travel with the team, after he was arrested on suspicion of felony bodily injury to his wife, and was released on $50,000 bail hours later.
The process now goes beyond whether the 27-year-old left-handed player, who was expected to be one of the best new players on the market, makes his next start with the Dodgers.
Los Angeles Police Department court records show Uriah set a court date for September 27, the final week of the Dodgers’ regular season. Exposition Park Police, who are handling Urías’ case, have until that date to file potential charges against Urías.
Much of Uriah’s season has been seen through the lens of what he can do for the Dodgers and for himself. He is now the subject of an imminent Major League Baseball investigation, according to a league source who has been granted anonymity in order to speak freely.
“It’s certainly very unfortunate,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, penning a brief statement released by the organization Monday morning. “For us, we just sit and wait while the process continues until we know more.”
Urías has already been the subject of suspension for violating the league’s common domestic violence policy. MLB suspended Urías for 20 games in 2019 after an investigation into an arrest on suspicion of home hitting after an alleged physical altercation with Urías and a woman in the Beverly Center shopping mall parking lot.
The League placed Uriyas on administrative leave and then began its investigation, a possible next step in this incident. Administrative leave is not an admission of guilt or is considered punitive. Players are paid and accumulate service time. Ureas could be placed on administrative leave before Thursday, when the Dodgers will have to decide who to play.
Administrative leave is usually set for 7-10 days, although it can be extended beyond that day with the approval of the league and the MLB Players Association.
News broke on Monday morning, as the Dodgers prepared to board a flight from Los Angeles to Miami for the start of a six-game East Coast road trip. Roberts said he was “shocked” when the club’s front office informed him of Urius’ arrest. President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman contacted Orias to inform him that he would not be making the trip with the club as legal proceedings began.
“Obviously this is a very disappointing development,” Friedman said on Tuesday, declining to go into details of his conversation with Ureas. “For us now, it is about getting him and his representatives to solve this problem while we focus on the short and long term,” he added.
Ureas was not charged with a crime in 2019, a decision that included requiring him to attend a 52-week personal counseling programme. MLB can still, as it did in 2019, penalize Uriahs. Under the joint MLB-PA policy on domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, the commissioner has unilateral power to enact punishment independent of the court system, meaning players do not have to be charged to be suspended. No player has ever been suspended twice under the policy since it was implemented in 2015. The longest suspension to date under the policy was the 194 games served by Trevor Bauer, the former Dodgers right fielder, prior to his appointment in January.
On Tuesday, the organization could only wait for more information from law enforcement or the MLB.
“We don’t know anything more today than we did yesterday,” Friedman said. “Our guys are professionals. They’re obviously worried about the situation. … But they’re also professionals and they’re focused on going out tonight and winning a baseball game. That doesn’t mean they aren’t anxious but they can shift their focus and stick to the job at hand.
Menu placement is secondary but another hurdle. The organization has placed its faith in Urías to play a crucial role in the club’s October plans, despite a career-worst 4.60 ERA (following a league-leading 2.16 mark in 2022). The club’s rotation has stuttered this summer, with both Dustin May and Tony Gonsolín needing operations at the end of the season. Clayton Kershaw, who started on Tuesday, is still on the way back from a shoulder problem. The organization tried unsuccessfully to add another impact start in the trade deadline.
“There are still so many unknowns that we haven’t gotten around to yet,” Friedman said. “(But) we feel we’ll have a lot of talent in our pitching squad in October. We may not know exactly who the thirteen will be at the moment. But we feel very confident that we’ll bring some big things to the table and be able to fit together in different ways to put our offense into position. He is allowed to shine.
(Top photo of Julio Llorías from Aug. 13: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today)
(marks for translation) Los Angeles Dodgers