MLB places Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías on administrative leave after arrest
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Julio Urías was placed on administrative leave indefinitely by Major League Baseball on Wednesday, three days after the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher was arrested on suspicion of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.
The leave was imposed under baseball’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy adopted by MLB and the players’ union in 2015 and can be the first step toward a suspension. Players are paid but cannot play while on leave.
“They have to go through the process — players’ association, Julio’s group. Baseball is working through this,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said in Miami.
MLB and the union agreed to the leave, which did not specify a length. Absent an agreement, MLB could have imposed a leave of up to seven days with the possibility of a seven-day extension.
Urías was arrested late Sunday night by Department of Public Safety officers in Exposition Park, south of downtown Los Angeles. The park is home to BMO Stadium, where Lionel Messi was playing in a Major League Soccer game with numerous celebrities in attendance.
DPS offered no details Wednesday on the circumstances of the arrest, but asked for any witnesses with information regarding the incident to contact them.
Urías posted $50,000 bail and was released early Monday. He is due in court on Sept. 27.
Urías, a 27-year-old Mexican-born pitcher, was arrested in May 2019 for domestic battery. He was suspended 20 games by MLB, but he wasn’t prosecuted by the Los Angeles city attorney on the condition he complete a 52-week domestic violence counseling program. No player has been suspended twice under MLB’s joint domestic violence policy.
Urías is the second star player on a contending team placed on administrative leave by MLB in recent weeks after Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco, who is being investigated by authorities in the Dominican Republic for an alleged relationship with a minor.
Urías’ attorney, Blair Berk, has not returned a message seeking comment.
DPS on Wednesday confirmed Urías’ arrest for a violation of Penal Code 273.5, which is corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. Corporal injury on a spouse requires a bodily injury being willfully caused by physical force and is a felony.
Urías is not with the Dodgers in Miami, where they are playing a three-game series against the Marlins. He was scheduled to make his next start Thursday, and Roberts said Ryan Pepiot will replace Urías on the mound.
“The Dodgers take all allegations of the kind in this case very seriously, and we do not condone or excuse any acts of domestic violence,” the team said in a statement.
Asked whether a decision on the case will be made during the season, Roberts said he doesn’t know enough yet.
“Obviously, these are very serious circumstances,” he said. “I would expect it to take the time needed to make sure the right actions are taken.”
The Dodgers announced Wednesday they are replacing Urías’ bobblehead promotion on Sept. 21 with a giveaway of select “premium bobbleheads.”
Then-Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was placed on administrative leave by MLB in July 2021 after an allegation of assault was made by a woman against him. The woman said Bauer assaulted her on two different occasions during what she said began as consensual sexual encounters between the two.
Bauer denied the allegation, saying the encounters were consensual.
In April 2022, MLB suspended him for 324 games without pay under the domestic violence policy. Bauer became the first player to appeal and in December of that year an arbitrator reduced his suspension to 194 games. He was reinstated immediately, but had his pay docked for the first 50 games of the 2023 season.
In January, the Dodgers designated him for assignment and he was released six days later. In March, Bauer signed to pitch in Japan’s Central League.
Players penalized in the past under the domestic violence policy include Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman and pitcher Domingo Germán, Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, Toronto pitcher Roberto Osuna, Colorado shortstop José Reyes and Atlanta outfielder Hector Olivera.
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