Arrieta Season Debut Scheduled for Saturday and Other Cubs News and Notes

According to multiple reports, Jake Arrieta will make his season debut on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the three-game series with the Cardinals. Jason Hammel has been pushed back to Sunday night and will have two extra days off in between starts.

Jake Arrieta posted a 4-2 record in nine starts with the Cubs last season. In 51 2/3 innings, he gave up 34 hits with 24 walks and 37 strikeouts (3.66 ERA, 1.12 WHIP). Arrieta feels he is ready to take the next step in his development and he knows the key to success is throwing strikes.

Jake Arrieta will not be eased into his season. Arrieta is scheduled to face Michael Wacha on Saturday afternoon. Arrieta beat the Redbirds the only time he faced them last season. Arrieta tossed seven innings of shutout ball while allowing two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

The Cubs have moved Carlos Villanueva to the bullpen and he will be able for Wednesday’s finale in Cincinnati if Rick Renteria needs another reliever. The front office should wait until Saturday to make the corresponding roster move to activate Jake Arrieta from the disabled list.

Top 50 Draft Prospects released its ranking of the top 50 players in the upcoming draft. The Cubs have the fourth pick in the Rule 4 Draft this June. Most feel the Cubs will take a pitcher with their first pick. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod have said the Cubs will select the best player available with the fourth pick. And regardless of which direction the Cubs go with their first selection, the front office will add a lot of pitching to the organization through the draft like they have the last two years.

Here’s how ranked the top 20 players. Click here for the complete list of all 50 players.

  1. Brady Aiken, LHP – Cathedral Catholic HS
  2. Carlos Rodon, LHP – North Carolina State
  3. Tyler Kolek, RHP – Shephard HS
  4. Jeff Hoffman, RHP – East Carolina
  5. Alex Jackson, C/OF – Rancho Bernardo HS
  6. Aaron Nola, RHP – LSU
  7. Nick Gordon, SS – Olympia HS
  8. Tyler Beede, RHP – Vanderbilt
  9. Kyle Freeland, LHP – Evansville
  10. Bradley Zimmer, OF – San Francisco
  11. Brandon Finnegan, LHP – Texas Christian University
  12. Grant Holmes, RHP – Conway HS
  13. Trea Turner, SS – North Carolina State
  14. Sean Newcomb, LHP – Hartford
  15. Kyle Schwarber, C/OF – Indiana
  16. Touki Toussaint, RHP – Coral Springs Christian HS
  17. Erick Feede, RHP – UNLV
  18. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP – Sandalwood HS
  19. Michael Conforto, OF – Oregon State
  20. Michael Chavis, SS – Sprayberry HS

Carlos Rodon is no longer the consensus number one in the upcoming draft. Lefty Brady Aiken and righty Tyler Kolek “have stormed through the opening” left by Rodon according to Jonathan Mayo.

The CCO will spend a lot of time profiling the players the Cubs could select this June (June 5-7) in the weeks leading up to the draft.

News and Notes

Patrick Mooney also caught up with David DeJesus while the Rays were playing the White Sox at the Cell. DeJesus told Mooney that the threat Dale Sveum made to send Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro to Triple-A Iowa did not have the motivational effect Sveum was looking for at the time. Instead, both players “had the Triple-A thing in the back of their brains and stuff like that.” DeJesus explained, “It’s tough to play when you’re thinking about who knows what’s going on behind you.”

Class participation is best for Mike Olt and Junior Lake according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

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