TODAY: Urias has indeed been officially reinstated by Major League Baseball. Outfielder Kyle Garlick was optioned to create roster space.
As Passan noted yesterday, the Dodgers are not permitted to take punitive action against Urias. The league’s announcement makes clear that “the investigation into a matter covered by the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy continues.”
YESTERDAY, 10:19pm: MLB decided not to extend the leave period because it was unable to acquire access to video of the incident, ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan reports. The player’s association and Urias were not willing to consent to an extended leave period. The investigation is still ongoing.
8:16pm: The Major League Baseball commissioner’s office is expected not to renew the administrative leave period of Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias when it expires tomorrow, according to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). It appears the team will return the 22-year-old to its active roster.
Urias was placed on seven-day administrative leave last Tuesday after his overnight arrest. Per reports, he was arrested on suspicion of “misdemeanor domestic battery” after witnesses saw him “shove” a female companion “to the ground.”
Under the terms of the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, the commissioner has authority to place a player accused of a possible violation of the policy “on paid Administrative Leave for up to seven days while the allegations are investigated before making a disciplinary decision.” That placement, which removes a player from his team’s active roster but does not stop his paycheck, can be challenged “immediately.”
In past instances, commissioner Rob Manfred has issued successive, week-long leave periods. Why he has elected not to do so in this case is unknown at present. It could indicate that a decision on discipline has already been made, though the league office has typically taken quite a bit longer to allow facts to develop before provisionally clearing a player or issuing any fines or suspensions. It may instead simply reflect a decision by the commissioner that Urias ought to be allowed to play during the pendency of any further investigation, whether or not prompted by pushback from the player, team, or union.
We’ll need to await further word before it’s possible to assess the situation. For now, it seems that the 22-year-old pitcher will be eligible to return to his role with the team.