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Dylan Hernández: Julio Urías proved he can be the Dodgers' ace; now they must pay him like one

Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

Don't mistake his humility for weakness. Don't confuse his silence for contentment.

Julio Urías has pride.

Listen to him carefully. It's there.

"I always try to give respect to whomever deserves it," Urías said in Spanish. "I try to do my thing and hopefully they also carry their part, no?"

He was talking about the Dodgers and how this could be his final season with them. He will be a free agent next winter.

The Dodgers haven't always treated the 26-year-old the way teams typically treat pitchers of his stature, and now the only way they can show him the respect he craves might be to pay him more than owner Mark Walter and the front office would like.

 

Urías was clearly the Dodgers' top pitcher last year, but the team waited until five days after its regular-season finale to name him the Game 1 starter for its National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres.

The year before that, when Urías won 20 games in the regular season, the Dodgers deployed him as a reliever in two of his four playoff appearances.

Urías has never complained about how the Dodgers have used him and manager Dave Roberts basically called him the staff ace over the weekend, but enough minor slights have piled up over the years to raise questions about how much the franchise values him.

What Urías means to the Dodgers should be obvious, and if they don't realize what they have in him, it's just another example of them being so smart to the point of being stupid.

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©2023 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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