- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to give Julio Urias another chance to prove he belongs in the majors. It’s another tough test, too.

The 19-year-old left-hander will make his second start for Los Angeles in the finale of a four-game series against the major league-leading Chicago Cubs on Thursday, giving Kenta Maeda an extra day of rest.

“Another opportunity for me to be up here,” Urias said Wednesday through an interpreter. “I’m going to fight and do everything I can to prove that I should remain here and stay here.”

Urias, one of baseball’s top prospects, made his major league debut Friday at the New York Mets and allowed three runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings. He became the first teenage pitcher to start in the majors since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez in 2005.

“For him to make his debut on that stage in New York, there’s really no bigger stage,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “And I thought that he passed. I think he handled himself well. And to follow that up with arguably the best team in baseball, we’re kind of checking some boxes early for Julio.

“I think sometimes you want a softer landing for maybe a young pitcher, but with his makeup and stuff, I’m sure he can handle it.”

Urias was promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City when the Dodgers put lefty Alex Wood on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with elbow soreness. Wood had an MRI on Wednesday that showed an elbow impingement requiring approximately four weeks of rest.

Urias is 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA in seven starts and one relief appearance this season for Oklahoma City, striking out 44 and walking eight. He has been carefully managed by the Dodgers since he was signed shortly after his 16th birthday after he was discovered by the team on the same scouting trip to Mexico on which it signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig in June 2012.

“I just want to be myself on the mound and continue to work so I can get the results,” Urias said before Los Angeles’ 2-1 loss to Chicago.

Maeda is being treated for swelling in his right hand, but thinks he should be ready to start Friday against Atlanta. The Japanese right-hander is 4-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 starts in his first season with Los Angeles.

“My hand feels good,” Maeda said through an interpreter. “It was a decision that the coaches made, to give me one more day.”


Freelance reporter Mike Cranston contributed to this report.


Jay Cohen can be reached at https://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

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