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Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Discusses the Motivation for Julio Urias to Dominate

Julio Urias has been the best pitcher in baseball that no one’s talked about over the course of the last two seasons. 

Since the beginning of last year, Urias is an incredible 37-10 with a stifling 2.58 ERA. He has nine more wins than the next closest pitcher (Adam Wainwright), and is ahead of Sandy Alcantara’s second-best 2.74 ERA in that time. 

This season, Urias is 17-7 with an NL-best 2.17 ERA, and has looked every bit the ace of this staff and one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. 

But at the same time, he hasn’t gotten the recognition he’s deserved. And his manager has taken notice. 

“I think every player has some motivation and I think Julio has done a Kershaw-esque job of focusing on the moment, controlling things he can control,” Dave Roberts said. “But I think there’s a little bit, for me, that he’s been slighted by the industry. So I think there’s something in there — that competitor in you — that wants to prove everyone wrong.”

Despite his 20-3 season and sub-three ERA last year, Urias didn’t get the NL Cy Young award — and he wasn’t even that close. 

Urias finished with 0 first-place votes, 0 second-place votes, 0 third-place votes and 0 fourth-place votes. Three fifth-place votes allowed him to finish in 8th on the ballot. 

And then this season, despite Urias’ dominance all year long, he wasn’t named to the NL All-Star team. Three other members of the Dodgers’ rotation made the cut, but not their ace. 

Urias finds himself in contention for the Cy Young again, but Sandy Alcantara’s name continues to pop up as the favorite. Not according to Dodger fans, though.

The 26-year-old has lived up the hype since he debuted in 2016. But outside of the Dodgers organization, it’s mostly gone unnoticed.

He enters this postseason as the unquestioned ace of this staff for the first time in his career. He’ll be on the mound for all the important games, and should have a real shot at winning a postseason award if he continues to pitch at a high level. Maybe this is the time he finally gets the recognition he deserves.

But then again, if this lack of recognition is what motivates him to pitch as well as he has, maybe it’s better he continues to fly under the radar.

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