Dodgers ace Julio Urias was invited to pitch for Team Mexico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, but the Los Angeles front office asked him not to participate. Urias was coming off his first big-league season and was just 20 years old, so there were concerns about overwork at that delicate stage in his career.
Now 26, Urias is a proven veteran who has shown his durability as one of the best starting pitchers in the National League, and when Team Mexico came knocking again, he and the Dodgers organization were comfortable with him saying sí.
Urias announced on Tuesday that he will take part in the 2023 WBC for Team Mexico, something that means a lot to him and his family.
“It’s going to be a very special thing for me, a very special moment for everybody, to represent Team Mexico. Mexico is everything for me, to be able to represent the country and my team. … Even here, when we play at Dodger Stadium, I feel like it’s a part of little Mexico when I come out and pitch amongst all my fans out here. … [My family] are all very excited, they’ve seen me wear the Team Mexico jersey when I was a child, but now they’re going to see me wear it professionally and they’re all very excited for me.”
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) September 6, 2022
Urias will be coming off his first two full seasons as a big-league starter, and they hardly could have gone better. In 2021, Julio was the only pitcher in baseball to reach 20 wins, going 20-3 with a 2.96 ERA. This year, he’s been even better in some ways, going 15-7 thus far with an NL-best 2.29 ERA. As one of the biggest Mexico-born stars currently playing in the majors, it’s no surprise the national team wanted him.
And now, six years after having to turn them down, Julio is happy to be able to answer the call.
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