Less than a day after leaving open the possibility of the Cubs shutting Jake Arrieta down before the end of the season, Rick Renteria told the beat writers prior to Monday’s finale with the Mets that the team has “no plans to shut him down.” Renteria explained the team is not even considering it. And according to the Sun-Times, Renteria was “emphatic about the intention to keep Arrieta pitching through September.”
There are ways to limit, or control, innings without shutting pitchers down early like the front office did with Jeff Samardzija two years ago.
Jake Arrieta has completed 117 1/3 innings at the Major League level this season, two innings shy of his career-high in the majors in a single season. Arrieta completed 119 1/3 innings for the Orioles in 2011. Arrieta threw 20 innings in five rehab starts earlier this season before he was activated from the DL. With 137 1/3 innings this year, Arrieta is less than 40 innings short of his career-high for a single season of 173 1/3 innings in 2010.
Kyle Hendricks completed a career-high 166 1/3 innings last year between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. Hendricks finished 102 2/3 innings for Iowa before his promotion and in seven starts for the Cubs he has thrown 48 2/3 innings. Tsuyoshi Wada, whom the Cubs have an option on for next season, missed most of his two years in the Orioles system and had already completed 113 2/3 innings before he was inserted into the Cubs rotation. Wada has 34 1/3 innings under his belt this season at the Major League level.
In the bullpen, Hector Rondon is six innings short (48 1/3) of last year’s 54 2/3 innings. Justin Grimm has made 58 appearances (53 1/3 innings) in his first season as a reliever. Pedro Strop is 20 innings short of the most innings he’s pitched in a single-season at the big league level. Strop has thrown 46 2/3 innings this year and completed 66 1/3 innings in 2012. And Neil Ramirez has already set a career high in appearances (35) in his first full-season in a reliever. Ramirez completed 103 innings in 21 starts last season in the minor leagues.
The Cubs would like to take a look at Dan Straily and Felix Doubront in a starting role in September and Renteria hinted at Jacob Turner being stretched out to start a game or two in September as well.
As previously reported, Jed Hoyer said last Friday the front office and coaching staff are discussing how the Cubs will handle the rotation and the pitching staff in September. Hoyer indicated the team “will do different things with the rotation” in the final month of the season.
The Cubs might be saying Jake Arrieta is not going to be shut down early, and he should be allowed to pitch through September to the end of the season, the writing is on the wall the front office and coaching staff will be limiting innings over the final month of the season once the roster expands.