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Julio Urias rejoins Dodgers after reinstatement by MLB, addresses team

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Julio Urias returned to the active roster Tuesday, joining the Dodgers in Tampa Bay and expressing eagerness to get back to playing baseball but otherwise saying little about the incident that landed him on administrative leave.
“I’m cooperating with Major League Baseball. They’re the ones in charge of the investigation,” Urias said through an interpreter. “I’m just happy to be back in here and grateful my teammates welcomed me back in the clubhouse.”
He responded with versions of that statement multiple times while speaking with reporters in the Dodgers’ clubhouse before Tuesday’s game. The Dodgers are also being careful in their comments about Urias’ situation, mindful that the MLB investigation remains open and the city attorney in Los Angeles could still bring charges for last week’s incident. Urias was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery.
“It’s something that MLB took control of,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said, emphasizing that the team sought “updates” on the investigation over the past week but otherwise could not be involved.
“They run an extremely thorough process and after going through it they made the decision to reinstate. It’s tough for us to elaborate much right now. But one thing we do know it is not standard for them to reinstate after just the seven days. So that says something to us.
“In every other case that I know of, that administrative leave has been extended or a suspension has been levied. So the fact that he was reinstated tells us something.”
In previous cases involving Yasiel Puig and Miguel Sano – both of which happened during the offseason and so they did not involve administrative leave – MLB also technically kept the investigations open pending any new information surfacing despite levying no discipline on either player.
Asked if he thought reinstatement meant the possibilities of a suspension or charges being brought for the incident were behind him, Urias repeated that he is cooperating with MLB and would focus on baseball now.
“I’m cooperating with Major League Baseball. I’m talking to them. I’m open with them,” he said. “They’re in charge of the investigation. That’s outside the stadium. I’m back inside the stadium and I’m going to focus on doing my job, focus on helping the team win and win a World Series.”
When he arrived at Tropicana Field on Tuesday afternoon, Urias met with Friedman and Manager Dave Roberts then addressed the team privately for what Roberts estimated was “about five minutes.”
“I talked to a lot of guys and they treated me really well,” Urias said. “I’ve been through a lot of things from the (shoulder) surgery to everything else and they’ve always supported me and they continue to support me.”
Roberts said he and Friedman spoke with Urias about “getting back here and focusing on baseball when he’s at the park.”
Urias threw a bullpen session “a couple days ago” in Los Angeles, according to Roberts, and was expected to throw another one Tuesday afternoon making him unavailable for the game.
“We’ll see how the game plays out (Wednesday),” Roberts said. “But I certainly expect him to be a big factor in that Pittsburgh series (this weekend).”
Roberts said he was not inclined to ease Urias back into games and wouldn’t hesitate to use him in high-leverage situations as he had earlier this season. Urias has two saves in his five appearances out of the bullpen this season.
“No, I wouldn’t (hesitate),” Roberts said. “The game will dictate how I use him. But as far as my confidence in him, that hasn’t changed.”
Public perception of the 22-year-old left-hander has certainly changed after the past week. Asked what he wanted fans to know, Urias said only “that I’m happy to be back, I’m thankful to the team, the fans to be back in this beautiful sport that I love to play. Now I have to get back to doing my job.”
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Friedman said “there’s not a playbook” for how to handle Urias’ situation going forward or deal with fan reaction to his return.
“I think human nature is to go to a very negative place,” Friedman said of reaction to the first reports of Urias’ arrest). “But learning more and understanding what we do, there’s a lot more to it. Hopefully, that will all come out at some point as investigations are concluded.”
ALSO
Outfielder Kyle Garlick was returned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to clear a roster spot for Urias. Garlick made one appearance over the weekend, flying out as a pinch-hitter in his first major-league at-bat.
UP NEXT
Dodgers (LHP Rich Hill, 1-1, 3.00 ERA) at Rays (TBA), Wednesday, 4:10 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available), 570 AM

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