@USAToday, Jake Roth


Luis Urias Has Dived Right Into the Padres' Lineup

Chris Ello
August 31, 2018 - 8:55 am

Jim Russell, our Executive Producer of the Padres Radio Network, looked out on the field at San Diego's brand spanking new second baseman, and said, "I bet you the first ball will be hit to him."

Well, Jim was partially right. The ball hit by Seattle Mariners center field Mitch Haniger actually was ticketed for right field -- in a hurry.

Then just as fast, something sensational happened. That brand spanking new second baseman of the Padres, defending against the first hitter of what almost certainly seems like it is going to be a great career, made a quick dash to his left.

Then came the indelible all-out dive, one that none of us who saw it live at Petco Park will soon forget. He layed out, airborne, horizontal to the cut of the outfield grass below him. And somehow he snagged the hard-hit laser in his stretched-out glove.

The new kid on the block finished off his masterpiece with a perfect throw to first base, retiring Haniger to start the game. In the broadcast booth, high above the field, longtime broadcaster Ted Leitner -- who has seen a play or two over the years -- screamed into his microphone: "What a way to begin your major league career!"

Hello, Luis Urias. Where have you been all of our lives?

Since that one moment in time, which took place just over two evenings ago, all of this stuff has happened: young outfielder Travis Jankowski hit the first pitch he saw after Urias' dazzling play into the right field stands for a leadoff home run. Rookie 22-year-old right-hander Jacob Nix threw a 79-pitch, near complete game victory.

The next day, anothe rookie, Joey Lucchesi, pitched lights out baseball until the seventh. Hunter Renfroe continued his hot hitting with his eighth August home run and drove in four. Manuel Margot kept his steady climb with another home run. And Urias hit one, too. Well, at least for a little while -- until replay review reversed it. 

Nevermind. Because there's no turning back now. Urias would go 3-for-5 in his second game and the Padres would complete their first sweep of the season, beating the AL Wild Card-contending Mariners, 8-3.

The kid's magic continued in his third game. A couple of more solid, yet excellent defensive plays. A stolen base. A three-hit pitching performance over 13 innings by the Padres' pitching staff. And finally a mammoth walk-off home run -- the first of the season for the Padres -- hit by Franmil Reyes to win the game in the 13th-inning.

Is he the lucky charm the Friars have been dying for. "All I know is that he's something special," Reyes told me after the game.

Indeed. Only one problem at this point. Just how to pronounce the name Urias, anyway? It's far more complicated than it seems. I started out with "yur-ee-us."


Somebody in the media asked him the other night: he said "ew-rrrree-is," rolling the R's and wiping out the "y" sound at the beginning. The media tried it: "ew-re-us," they said. No "R" rolling. Not right.

So keep this in mind as you watch this young sensation grow with the Padres: You have to roll the "R's." And speaking of rolling, he'll seemingly take care of the rest.