The Dodgers returned from a six-game trip on Monday, and pitcher Julio Urías was virtually gone without a trace.
The Dodger Stadium clubhouse locker of the 2020 World Series hero, who was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence outside of BMO Stadium last week, was removed before Monday night’s game against the San Diego Padres, the left-hander’s cubicle taken over by recently acquired infielder Kolten Wong.
Two large murals that featured Urías prominently at the loge-level entrances in left field and right field were covered or painted over. There was no sign of Urías jerseys or merchandise in several concourse vendor booths and team shops. Urías jerseys and merchandise were removed from the top-of-park team store.
Manager Dave Roberts said the decision to remove Urías’ locker was “an organizational thing,” a move he said he was made aware of about five minutes before meeting reporters in the dugout three hours before the game.
“I didn’t know, and … it’s sad, it really is,” Roberts said. “It’s sad on every level.”
Did the decision to remove Urías’ locker from the clubhouse make it clear that the Dodgers have “moved on” from the pitcher who will be a free agent after this season?
“I think so,” Roberts said. “I think that’s kind of where we’re at right now. So there’s really not much for me to comment on, other than the fact that it’s just like I said on the first day, it’s a very unfortunate, sad situation.”
Urías, 27, was arrested at around 11 p.m. on Sept. 3 after a concerned citizen who saw a man attacking a woman after an LAFC-Inter-Miami soccer match at Exposition Park flagged down police, unaware that the man was the Dodgers pitcher.
Urías was put on administrative leave Wednesday by Major League Baseball, which is investigating the incident, and he has a Sept. 27 court date, jail records show.
The eight-year veteran and the team’s opening-day starter was previously arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery in 2019, after police said witnesses saw him push a woman to the ground in a parking lot near Beverly Center. Though Urías was not charged in that incident, MLB suspended him for 20 games that season.
The Dodgers entered Monday night’s game with a magic number of seven to clinch their 10th National League West title in 11 years.
Urías, who finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2022, when he went 17-7 with a 2.16 ERA in 31 starts, was expected to be one of the team’s top two starters in the playoffs despite a subpar season in which he is 11-8 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 starts.
But with Urías out, it appears the Dodgers will use highly touted rookie Bobby Miller, Kershaw and veteran right-hander Lance Lynn as starters in the NL division series.
Kershaw, who has been battling shoulder soreness, was scheduled to pitch against the Padres on Monday night, but his next start was pushed back to Saturday in Seattle. Miller will start Friday night’s series opener against the Mariners, and Lynn is scheduled to pitch Sunday.
Asked if the juggling of the rotation would allow the Dodgers to line up Miller, Kershaw and Lynn for a playoff series, Roberts said, “In theory, yeah.”
Staff writer Jack Harris contributed to this report.