Cubs Add Jake Arrieta to the Rotation

The Cubs announced prior to Wednesday’s finale with the Reds that Jake Arrieta would be recalled from Triple-A Iowa and start Friday’s opener against the Cardinals. Arrieta has been pitching in Iowa’s rotation since the Cubs acquired him, along with Pedro Strop, from the Orioles last month for Scott Feldman.

Arrieta posted a 2-2 record in seven starts with the I-Cubs. In 30 1/3 innings, Arrieta allowed 16 runs, 12 earned, on 32 hits with 16 walks and 39 strikeouts (3.56 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP). Arrieta was called up on July 30 to start the second game of the doubleheader against the Brewers and was rather impressive. Arrieta allowed one run on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts in six innings. Arrieta settled down nicely after a rough first inning and showed why he was the Opening Day starter for the Orioles just a year ago.

Arrieta has a big arm and the stuff to be a frontline big league starter but he has yet to put it all together. The Cubs viewed him as a change of scenery guy when they acquired him from Baltimore and Arrieta is viewing the trade as a way to start fresh with a new organization. Arrieta throws very hard and has swing and miss stuff. Command has been Arrieta’s undoing in the past and if he can keep it together and throw enough strikes, the Cubs could have another power arm in their rotation moving forward. The Cubs plan to leave Arrieta in the rotation for the remainder of the season so they can get more than just a September look at him.

To make room in the rotation, the Cubs sent Carlos Villanueva back to the bullpen.

Jake Arrieta, Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson will start the three games against the Cardinals. Jeff Samardzija and Chris Rusin will get the ball for the first two games of the Nationals series. So for now, the Cubs rotation moving forward is Jake Arrieta, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Jeff Samardzija and Chris Rusin. Now, if the Cubs could score some runs the end of his season would be much better than a year ago.

The Cubs will have to send out a reliever to make room on the active roster for Arrieta prior to Friday’s game. The two candidates would be Eduardo Sanchez and Michael Bowden, with Sanchez the more likely of the two on the way to Iowa.

Jeff Samardzija

Even with his recent struggles and inconsistency, the Cubs still feel Jeff Samardzija is a part of the big picture moving forward. And according to a report from Comcast SportsNet, his last seven or eight starts of the season “will help frame” a potential long term deal with Samardzija.

Theo Epstein said that Jeff Samardzija has been a big part of the Cubs’ plans and they want him to “grow as a pitcher and develop consistency, the last remaining hurdle.”

Epstein pointed out that Samardzija has “tremendous stuff” and “tremendous makeup.” Epstein thinks that consistency is “the only thing from preventing him from being the pitcher we think he can be.”

Joey Votto told the Sun-Times, “Off all the right-handers, I’d say Jeff Samardzija is probably in the first three, four or five in terms of stuff. To me, he’s in that Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg category in terms of just raw stuff. The rest is up to him.”

The Cubs would like to see him cut down on his walks which will allow him to pitch deeper into games without increasing his pitch count. Samardzija realizes what he needs to do in order to take the next step in his development.

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant hit his second homer since his promotion to the D-Cubs on Wednesday afternoon. Bryant is off to an excellent start to his professional career and could be on the fast track to Wrigley, but likely not as fast as ESPN Chicago reported.

According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Bryant could be the Cubs’ Opening Day third baseman next season … yes, the report indicated Opening Day 2014. Bryant could make his big league debut at some point late next season but Opening Day seems rushing a player that has a chance to have a very good big league career. And not the game plan for Bryant that the front office seems to have.

News and Notes

Starlin Castro is still struggling to hit fastballs.

Matt Guerrier is getting a second opinion from Reds team physician Dr. Timothy Kremchek before undergoing surgery to repair a torn pronator muscle in his right arm. The recovery time, according to Guerrier, is less than Tommy John surgery. Guerrier is looking at a six-to-eight month recovery and rehab process. Guerrier is obviously disappointed but would like to re-sign with the Cubs, perhaps on a minor league deal, so he can help the team next season.

Arismendy Alcantara went 0-for-0 on Wednesday night with three walks and two runs scored … and Alcantara stole home.

Josh Vitters re-injured his hamstring during Tuesday’s game and could be on his way back to the disabled list.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Baseball is all I ever wanted. I could eat, sleep, and dream baseball." - Smoky Joe Wood

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  • John_CC

    The troubled 27 year old Delmon Young was released today. He has a nice split vs. LH pitching, something not many Cub OF can say about themselves. And he was on a 1 year contract for under 1 million.

    Worth another “change of scenery?”

    • TheWrongGuy

      I saw this also. I thought maybe and then again he also has a troubled past with high market arenas (New York). He also doesn’t play the outfield very well which with our current FO and the way they pick and choose on the market… most at least can field the position well, and Delmon Young doesn’t. But I like the idea of signing him.
      Why not our other options for right handed bats against lefties are BAD and the call-up choices right now aren’t good either.

    • Ripsnorter1

      If his off the field activities aren’t enough to
      deter you, then check his fielding stats, and you’ll see
      that Soriano was much, much better. Then make
      a decision.

    • Tony_Hall

      No thanks, didn’t want him in the off season and don’t want him now. Can’t play the OF (even LF) and don’t want him in the clubhouse.

  • Tbarker

    Awesome quotes about Samardzija

    Theo
    “Tremendous stuff”
    “Tremendous makeup”

    Votto
    “Of all the right handlers he is 3,4,5 in terms of stuff.”

    Ringing endorsements wouldn’t you say Denver?

    • JasonPen

      Thanks Joey, you just upped Samardzija’s asking price for his offseason contract extension… You’re the best!

    • Tony_Hall

      No one should question his stuff, just the stuff between the ears that will determine what how good he becomes. Let’s hope he has just needed experience, as he has the experience of a player 4-5 years younger.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Edwin Jackson is rated as having Top Ten stuff in all of MLB.

      How’s that worked out?

      I am not down on Samardzija. He needs some humbling.
      A haircut would help (see Tim Lincecum).
      This year might cool some of the greed off and make him
      a better pitcher if he can be humbled.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I’d like to see you say one nice thing about a Cubs player. That would be refreshing.

        • cubtex

          Junior Lake looks good in his uniform. (I answered that one for Rip)

        • J Daniel

          I hear what you are saying but agree with Rip on this one.

        • Denver Mike

          This is one instance where Rip may not be positive, but he’s speaking the truth.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I’ll say it again until I’m blue in the face Rip, it’s a four year contract. He had one bad year. It’s a total failure. Let’s not see how he does the whole time or if he improves in year 2, 3 or 4. It was a waste of money. Shortsighted at its finest.

        • cubtex

          Do you really think Greydigger that this will be a contract and look back on and say….what a bargain? It was an overpay then,it is an overpay today, and it will be an overpay tomorrow.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Because its a free agent contract. You got to pay to play. But do I think it would will always be labeled a total failure? No.

          • cubtex

            time will tell but I envision that if and when it comes time to trade Mr. Jackson…Theo will be eating a good portion of that contract.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Team Theo’s going to eat 100% of that Jackson contract. While he’s on our roster,
            Team Theo pays, and when/if Kevin Gregg, er, Edwin Jackson can be traded, Team Theo
            will have to pay the full bill to get rid of him. Most likely, their won’t be any takers anyway (see: Gregg, Kevin).

          • Tony_Hall

            Not true at all.

            Teams have traded for him quite often, to think that he won’t have a trade market in the future is short sighted.

            January 14, 2006: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Chuck Tiffany (minors) to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Danys Baez and Lance Carter.

            December 10, 2008: Traded by the Tampa Bay Rays to the Detroit Tigers for Matthew Joyce.

            December 8, 2009: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Detroit Tigers to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Detroit Tigers sent Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees. The New York Yankees sent Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Detroit Tigers. The New York Yankees sent Ian Kennedy to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Arizona Diamondbacks sent Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth to the Detroit Tigers.

            July 30, 2010: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Chicago White Sox for David Holmberg (minors) and Daniel Hudson.

            July 27, 2011: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Mark Teahen to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart.

            July 27, 2011: Traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with Octavio Dotel, Corey Patterson, Marc Rzepczynski and cash to the St. Louis Cardinals for Trever Miller, Colby Rasmus, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          A guy with stuff like his will always have pitching coaches as fanns, wanting a shot with him. And I think there is a better than average shot he will prove valuable to us before this contract is up. It was te going price for a free agent with the #10 stuff in baseball. We needed a pitcher and they wnt an got one who has a lot of upside. He hasn’t lived up to it yet but that could easily change. The jury is in the earliest part of deliberations on this one.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Don’t forget, the organization’s job is to blow smoke up your ass. No one’s going to come watch players when the organization says, “kid has great stuff, but has a giant head.” Go on Cubs.com see if you can find an article where they say ANYTHING critical. If a guy flat out stinks, they say, “joe blow is having an up and down season, but is looking to improve this season.”

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Just goes to show that guys that don’t throw hard are underrated. Take Hendricks, all he’s ever done is win games and keep runs from scoring, but he is viewed as a #5 starter; then take Shark who has neer put together een close to a full season of success but is a potential #1. Time we base predictions on results. I believe In a few years we will see Hendricks pitching in front of Shark in the Cubs rotation. Unless we can get someone to take Shark off our hands. Whih I belive would help between his ears. He would be better off in a market that doesn’t still think of him first as Brady Quinn’s favorite target.

        • cubtex

          And maybe Loux pitching in front of Hendricks? (couldn’t resist :)

      • Tbarker

        Excellent point, though the organization does not need to go out its way to compliment a player. Find me anywhere were Eduardo Sanchez is praised publicly or Brooks Raley? Anyone who has an inkling of spotting talent knows Samardzija has all the components to be a front line starter, that is a fact and can’t be refuted. Putting it all together is completely different. For instance Wood has pitched better than Samardzija this year, Wood may even have a better career. But Wood will never be an ace. An ace is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is what all GM’s try to find, discounting that is foolish. I can promise this, JS work ethic is un-parallel, his attitude is exactly where it needs to be. He needs to consistently repeat his delivery, remember his lifetime inning load is equivalent to a 2nd year MLB player. Also his changeup is not even close to average, he develops the change like he did with his slider and the ceiling is infinite.

        • cubtex

          Exactly. How many pitchers EVER put it ALL together? An ace knows how to pitch not just throw. I don’t think Shark will ever be an ace. Can he be a #2? Possibly, but a #3 is more likely. That is not bad but too many people get caught up with this “ace” talk. How many aces are there in all of baseball?

          • Tbarker

            Was Schilling an Ace at first or Cliff Lee? There are not many true Aces,you are right. That is why when you have a potential one, you try as hard as hell to develop him.

          • Tony_Hall

            This is the same argument, I used on you, with Garza…..glad to see you were listening :)

        • 07GreyDigger

          All I’m saying is base your opinion on a player on what you see and not take what the organization says as truth.

          Here’s what I have on Raley and Sanchez for you on Cubs.com. Best I could do!

          Raley:
          “Left-hander fills bullpen need for Cubs as a fresh arm.”

          Sanchez:
          “Cubs add onetime prospect from Cards.”

          Not much, but still blowing smoke!

          • Tbarker

            I totally agree with you GD, my original post was a dig at Denver Mike regarding a Samardzija argument. Theo and Votto’s statements coincided with exactly what I was saying. My opinion on JS is based on years of scouting experience and countless visual and tape sessions.

          • Denver Mike

            It is interesting you still feel the need to dig at me when I can count at least 3 other peoplein this single thread that share my same thoughts on Samardzija.

          • Denver Mike

            Shouldthey also clear their head and go get some Mexican food, or talk to their girlfriends about baseball, or whatever other wonderful suggestions you have offeredin the past?

            Sincerely,

            Greg Brady

          • Tbarker

            Greg Brady was funny

          • Tbarker

            Come on man! It’s ironic not personal.I wouldn’t say they share your thoughts per say except for his so-called attitude, which is completely mis-informed. You feel 2 years is a sufficient sample size for growth. I know that is incorrect. And do I really need to post stats to support my argument?

          • Denver Mike

            I’m back at my desk so I can elaborate a bit more.

            I don’t necessarily think that 2 years is a sufficient sample size for growth, I am in my mid-30s and like to think I still learn something new and grow as a person every day. I, like many others coming into this season was looking for some sign of progression from Samardzija, especially considering the statement he made by turning down a contract extension in the off-season and saying he would like to prove his worth in a full season before signing a new deal. That sounded to me like a player who was mentally prepared to make the next step in his career. Can that still happen next year, or 3-4 years from now? Of course it can, but to all the people who are counting on him becoming the Ace of this staff based on his stuff, I have a feeling they are far more likely to be disappointed than gratified.

            I may be wrong, but as I have stated many times i have tempered my expectations a bit over the course of this season, and now would be content if he established himself as a solid #3 for this team. If that is as far as he goes, and we can put a legit #1 & #2 in front of him, then based purely on his stuff we are going to have a pretty formidable rotation to get excited about.

            I am certainly not a Samardzija hater, I just expect a bit less from him now than I once did.

          • Tbarker

            That is a post/rebuttal I enjoyed reading. You are right about the next step, there are certain caveats though, that directly impact sheer numbers.Trust me in the fact he has taken responsibility and action to get to the next level. Someday I may share with you the basis for my thought process,I can not post in a public forum.

          • cubtex

            Thank you for your thoughts Mr. Samardzija :)

          • Dorasaga

            Same here.

    • Denver Mike

      Ringing endorsements of his potential that is for sure. Now let’s see if he can realize that potential. I’d say it’s 50/50 each way, we have another pitcher in the org with great “stuff” named Jake Arrieta and I’m not ready to anoint him either.

      I only really put stock in what Votto has to say, as Theo is a smart man and knows if they can’t resign Shark he better talk him up as much as possible.

      • Tbarker

        Not one scout or GM in baseball would take Arrieta over Samardzija.
        Agreed JA has ability, his lifetime workload has far exceeded JS and he has had less results.
        I definitely don’t want you to anoint anyone without a proven track record. Understand the potential without shouting out “He is not a Theo player” or “he is a 3/4 at best.” I take exception to mis-informed finite statements.
        To answer what your rebuttal will be, you are most definitely entitled to an opinion. That is what these forums are for.

        • Denver Mike

          I don’t feel like going back and looking up my exact quote, but it was something to the effect of “I certainly don’t have my finger on Theo’s pulse as that’s not the kind of relationship we share, but I have to imagine he like pitcher’s who throw strikes” a sarcastic statement about Shark’s inability to do so.

          No doubt Shark has shown more promise than Arrieta but the comparison comes from everyone touting their “stuff” without considering their actual real-life stats, such as the one’s you so easily ignored yesterday.

          • Tbarker

            There are different levels of stuff.
            Stats are deceiving

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Can’t wait to see Alcantra batting 2 hole in a couple years! Talk about a table-setter, but with enough pop to be the prototypical 2 hitter. With a guy like him at two and Almora at leadoff, we can plug in a couple free swingers at 4 & 5 behind Bryant. Maybe Baez and Soler? Then let Rizzo bat 6 hole, where after another year or so of development would be one of the best 6 hole hitters in the leage.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Arrieta will be a hige storyline in speing training. If he can get his mind right he could be our number 1 starter and a Cy Young candidate, much like Shark. Or they both may muddle through an average at best season while Hendricks has a sub 2 ERA at AAA.

    • cubtex

      Hahaha. You never cease to amaze me Boardrider :))) Did you say Arrieta could be a number 1 and a Cy Young Candidate????

      • J Daniel

        Love boardrider and he is going completely opposite of Rip … so as they say … somewhere in the middle.

        • cubtex

          Agreed. Everyone could be a #1 starter or the best #6 hitter in baseball or the best(whatever) Gotta love the guy!

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Lol fellas…

          • J Daniel

            Man, I LOVE the passion! Keep it up.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Going off “stuff,” that everyone is so enamored with yes I think he could be. If he can throw strikes and get mentally tough, he has the Strasbourg, Harvey “stuff,” just like Shark does.

        • cubtex

          I love your enthusiasm Boardrider. Lets just see if he can be part of the rotation first. To put him in the same sentence with Strasburg and Harvey is laughable. Do you think the O’s would have traded him for Feldman if they thought there was a 10% chance he could be a top of the rotation starter? Look what he has done with Baltimore when he got an opportunity to start. Slow down with some of these players. I know the Cubs don’t have any young studs to be pumped up about now but lets take it step by step

          • 07GreyDigger

            I don’t think Arrieta is a #1 starter either. But don’t forget, teams make stupid trades all the time. Like when San Francisco traded Zack Wheeler for 3 months of Carlos Beltran.

          • cubtex

            Zack Wheeler was the Giants #1 prospect and considered a future top of rotation starter. Arrieta has had 64 mlb starts. Hopefully he pitches well enough to just be in the rotation. If he is a 5…the trade would have been a big win for the Cubs.

          • 07GreyDigger

            This is like politics. I’m exhausted. :)

          • cubtex

            now you know how I feel with Tony :)

          • Tony_Hall

            It doesn’t have to wear you out, just start seeing the light and you can relax more.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    My phone wouldn’t let me reply at bottom, but here’s an srticle with some comments from Showalter regarding Arrieta. Strong language there. He said at te time of the trade “we may live to regret this one.”

    http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2013/04/showalter-on-arrieta.html

    I’m not saying it will happen hut he has te potential with his “stuff,” if he can stop being his own worst enemy he can be a dominant ace. Not saying he will be but the potential is there.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Another one…

      http://tracking.si.com/2012/04/02/report-orioles-manager-buck-showalter-names-jake-arrieta-opening-day-starter/

      The opening day starter is a guy that is considered the “ace,” of your staff.

      Obviosuly he hasn’t done that but more proof that people familiar with him have that sort of expectation.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        He may nit end up an ace, but he think he has the potential to be a top 3 pitcher on a chamionship team. He’s the type that on a given night could throw a no-hitter.

    • cubtex

      Arrieta has made 64 MLB starts. 64. Not 6 or 4. 64. He has a career 5.39 ERA and a career 1.462 WHIP.

      Will a change of scenery help? Absolutely. Can he be an ace? Not a snowballs chance in hell. He could be a back end guy but nothing more.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Cubtex:
        Have you seen Arrieta’s WAR? It’s 162 games, man.
        He’s going to outpitch Walter Johnson.

        LOL

        • TheWrongGuy

          I like this Rip. I HATE WAR.
          I like it as a tool but for sure it’s not the end all, answer to all baseball answers their is!
          If I could give you 10 ^ Rip I would. =)

          • cubtex

            Agreed but you know that already! WAR to me is to try and find some sort of positive out of a below average player. That is what WAR is.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not really, but this explains why you have the opinion of it that you do. STay with the simple stats like AVG and Wins and Losses for a pitcher….

          • Tbarker

            Neither wins/losses or WAR is used to evaluate prospects, those peripherals hold virtually no weight.

          • Tony_Hall

            Thanks for the input, I never would have figured out that Wins against replacement level player would not work on prospects, who are the replacement level players. So when you say virtually no weight, you actually mean no weight, as their is no WAR in the minors. W-L are not good way to evaluate any pitchers, not just prospects.

          • Tbarker

            Your welcome, now maybe you will realize what one player does against another player today does not equate to a completely different player competing against another separate player in a different time, place, condition, defensive configuration and weather factor. Lets not even include teammates, splits and Injuries. Now lets multiple all those variables x 100. The conclusion? Ockham’s razor.

          • Tony_Hall

            A completely incoherent rant that means nothing?

            If I understand what you are trying to say, that you don’t think anyone can know how any player will perform in the future, based on their past. If that is what you are trying to say, you are right and wrong. The past gives a look at what players do, and you can break it down as far as you want to try and see the patterns against all the variables. That is all advanced stats are, taking the original stats and breaking them down to see all the different scenarios. All of this give you, in most cases, percentages that will tell you the chances of things happening. The results is still ballplayers competing against ballplayers. This is one of the reasons why I think people put too much into RISP, as ballplayers that make the majors, don’t all of a sudden become better players, just because there is a man on 2nd or 3rd, their ability is their ability and if they can’t handle “pressure” they probably are not going to playing in the majors long, as their should be pressure to perform on every play.

          • Dorasaga

            Win Above Replacement is a summary stat that has the same baseline for BOTH pitchers and batters. It’s a theoretic representation of reality. Great for Hall of Fame debates. Not good for evaluating prospects or rookies.

          • Tbarker

            I concur and so does everyone else in baseball.

            Theoretic representation of reality…………..Perfect