Jake Arrieta Completes Simulated Game, Likely to Miss First Two Weeks of the Season

Jake Arrieta completed a simulated game and faced hitters Sunday for the first time this spring. Chris Bosio and Rick Sutcliffe were two of the four coaches on hand Sunday to watch Arrieta, along with one of the Cubs’ trainers. Arrieta reportedly threw 24 pitches during BP with his fastball in the low-90s (90-92 mph) and slider in the mid-80s (85-87 mph). ESPN Chicago reported, Arrieta threw 41 warm-up pitches prior to facing hitters.

After the simulated game Arrieta said, “Everything felt crisp. I wanted to throw everything for strikes including off-speed, CubsMesaLogo-pubjust to get the rotation down. I feel like the strength was good, the velocities were good.”

If all is well with Arrieta on Monday, he will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday then face hitters again on Friday according to ESPN Chicago. The Sun-Times reported Arrieta could make his Cactus League debut if his pen session Tuesday goes well. The Cubs have not said when, or if, Arrieta will pitch in a Cactus League game.

During Sunday’s game, Comcast SportsNet reported Jake Arrieta will miss a start or two at the beginning of the season. Arrieta told ESPN Chicago, “Only having to miss a start or two isn’t the worst case.”

Chris Bosio liked what he saw from Arrieta on Sunday. According to ESPN Chicago, Bosio was encouraged by the way Arrieta pitched Sunday.

The Cubs have not made the announcement, but with less than two weeks remaining in the spring games, Jake Arrieta will begin the season on the DL and it sounds like he has accepted the fact he will miss at least the first two weeks of the season.

Carlos Villanueva, Chris Rusin and James McDonald are the leading candidates to fill the fifth sport in the rotation in Arrieta’s absence. Bruce Levine reported Villanueva has a leg up on Rusin and McDonald for the fifth spot while the Tribune reported Rusin appears to be the new frontrunner after his performance Sunday against the Mets. And Tsuyoshi Wada is also in the conversation as well according to reports from Cubs.com and the Tribune despite his performance this spring.

Mike Olt

Mike Olt took grounders at third before Sunday’s game against the Indians. Brandon Hyde hit the grounders and Olt made the throws. The Cubs have not said when he will see time at third base during a Cactus League game, but Olt maintained Sunday it would be soon.

Mike Olt appears to have a chance to break camp as the Cubs’ starting third baseman if he can show he play the position during games.

News and Notes

Chris Bosio told ESPN Chicago, the Cubs are trying “to put the reins” on Arodys Vizcaino. Bosio said he likes to throw and the Cubs are trying to be careful with him this spring so he can begin the season pitching either out of the Cubs’ pen or out of the I-Cubs’ pen … and not on a disabled list.

Travis Wood said six innings or around 90 pitches will be his target in his next spring start. Wood will back down to around 60 pitches in his last Cactus League outing.

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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

    Pretty good news all around. I really like what I read about Vizaino. He just sounds like a competitor and a guy that could have the closers mentality. Obviously a closer has to have good stuff but there are so many Joe Borowski’s out there that it tells you a lot more upstairs is needed to be a successful closer. Vizcaino seems fearless. And while right now he needs to take it easy. If he can stay healthy I think he could be a dominant closer.

    I’ll make the comparison again to Aroldys Chapman. I think Vizcaino could be on a similar path. Similar stuff and styles. He isn’t Chapman yet but I see no reason he can’t develop into that type…if he stays healthy.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Meanwhile Veras is having a bad ST and his stuff is not good right now. Not sure what’s his problem: new contract? Or is he hurt? His conditioning is not right–that we know. He might not be your closer after he blows four saves in the first week like Marmol did last year.

      • Richard Hood

        Personally I think that Veras was signed as a safety net to take some pressure off of Strop anyway. We may see the dreaded bullpen by committee if Veras continues to struggle once the light turns green.

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  • Tony_H

    Just saw this Churchill quote on twitter and it so true and leads to the difference in the way many of us look at the Cubs. (You can substitute realist for pessimist)

    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.-Churchill

    • cubtex

      Glad you are into PMA. I read a ton of motivational books and listen to a lot of audio programs myself. Key prep work to be a successful salesperson. Obviously that “great” quote by Churchill is about what “you” do with a difficult opportunity or circumstance that is directly related to your life. Do you “respond” to it or “react” to it.
      Can’t even remotely understand out how you got that to relate to the Cubs????

      • paulcatanese

        It doesn’t:)

    • cubtex

      Here is a good one for ALL Cub fans.

      Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Good quote, posted it during the off-season.

  • Tony_H

    Ex-Cub getting Opening Day start. Congrats to Feldman!

    “Astros manager Bo Porter on Monday named Scott Feldman the club’s Opening Day starter.
    It’s certainly no surprise after general manager Jeff Luhnow said last month that Feldman was the only Astros pitcher that had a rotation spot locked up. Feldman posted a 3.86 ERA and 1.18 WHIP last season for the Cubs and Orioles before inking a three-year, $30 million contract with the Astros over the winter.”

  • paulcatanese

    Will Sutcliff be around for the season? I may have missed it, I thought he was not available for the season. Would be a pretty good addition.

    • cubtex

      wish Sutcliffe was on TV instead of Deshaies.