The Daily CCO: Will the Cubs Slow Jake Arrieta’s Roll?

Jake Arrieta kept on rolling Sunday at Citi Field. Arrieta tossed seven innings of shutout ball, allowed two hits and walked two batters. The Mets put two runners on base once at the same time, and that was due to an error behind Arrieta that was erased by an excellent double play turned in by Starlin Castro and Javier Baez. Arrieta’s curveball was unhittable Sunday … eight of his nine strikeouts were on his curve.

Outside of the miserable outing at Coors Field and once the Cubs let off his pitch count limit in May, Jake Arrieta has pitched extremely well.

Counting the bad start against the Rockies, Arrieta has given up 25 runs on 61 hits with 21 walks and 96 strikeouts in his last 92 innings dating back to June 1 (2.45 ERA, 0.89 WHIP) while averaging slightly better than 6 1/3 innings per start.

According to multiple reports and as expected, the Cubs could be thinking about shutting Arrieta down early.

Jed Hoyer said Friday that the front office and coaching staff are working on the plans for the pitching staff in September. The Cubs would like to see Dan Straily and Felix Doubront start a few games and Jacob Turner could also make a couple of starts. Hoyer indicated Friday, the Cubs “will do different things with the rotation” in September.

The Cubs have both starters and relievers that are approaching career highs in innings pitched. Rick Renteria admitted to the beat writers the team is “monitoring everybody.”

Arrieta was asked about being shut down early and said he has not been told that was the plan for him. Arrieta said he feels strong, is healthy and wants to finish out the season “on a high note” pitching in the rotation.

Albert Almora

Albert Almora has started off slow with the Smokies, but is 4-for-10 in his last two games with a triple, three RBI and two runs scored. After hitting .283/.306/.406 with 20 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and a .712 OPS in 89 games with Daytona, he has managed a .226/.253/.321 slash line in 22 games with the Smokies that includes three doubles, a triple and a home run.

Paul Sullivan recently caught up with Albert Almora and spoke with him about his father’s recovery from cancer surgery in the spring. Almora is very close with his father and Jason McLeod thinks that dealing with his father’s health issues might have had an impact on the way Almora played early in the season.

The front office is not concerned about the way Almora has performed since his promotion to Double-A Tennessee and neither is Almora, who is focused on getting better every day. The Cubs know he will hit, just like he did after he made the adjustments with the D-Cubs.

Albert Almora has talked about in the past that the Cubs system is one big family. And he discussed it once again with Paul Sullivan. Almora was happy for Javier Baez when ‘Javy’ was promoted and pointed out there is no pressure on the other prospects, such as ‘George’ [Jorge Soler] and ‘Addy’ [Addison Russell].

News and Notes

When Dain Straily made his Cubs debut Saturday night, he became the 60th different player to pitch for the Cubs in 446 games during the Theo EpsteinJed Hoyer Era.

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs “will have to get creative in order to give looks to their new group of talented-but-flawed pitchers.” How creative will the front office get? There are ways to limit innings, both in the rotation and in the bullpen, without shutting pitchers down early.

Minor News and Notes

RHP Blake Cooper was assigned to Double-A Tennessee after being acquired from Arizona in the Brett Jackson deal. Cooper made his organizational debut Saturday and pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. Cooper gave up two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out two.

Gerardo Concepcion has appeared in four games with the Daytona Cubs since his promotion from Kane County. Concepcion has given up four hits with four walks and eight strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings. Concepcion has yet to allow a run (0.00 ERA, 0.92 WHIP).

Junior Lake is expected to report Monday to Iowa.

Billy McKinney is hitting .313/.399/.443 in 38 games with the Daytona Cubs that includes 10 doubles, two triples and a home run for a .841 OPS. McKinney couldn’t be happier to be with the Cubs’ organization according to a report from

Weekend Headlines

It was another busy weekend for the Chicago Cubs. From roster moves to big league debuts to Cubs debuts to a lot of time waiting for results from an MRI in Des Moines, there was not a lull in the news while the team was trying to make contact at Citi Field and beat the Mets.

This Day In Cubstory

August 18

2010 – Cubs traded Derrek Lee to the Braves for Ty’Relle Harris, Robinson Lopez and Jeffrey Lorick

1995 – Cubs beat the Rockies 26-7 at new Coors Field. Luis Gonzalez drove in six runs, Sammy Sosa went 4-for-4 with four RBI and four runs scored. The Cubs tied several Major League records: Nine teammates scored two or more runs, 14 Cubs hit safely and 26 RBI tied a National League record. The Cubs extended their own record by scoring 20 or more runs 39 times in franchise history.

1989 – Andre Dawson collected the 2000th hit of his career

1982 – In the second longest game in franchise history, at the time, the Cubs lost to the Dodgers 2-1 at Wrigley Field. The game took two days to complete, lasted 21 innings and the Cubs dropped the game after Dusty Baker hit a sac fly in the 21st inning.

1977 – Cubs traded Steve Renko to the White Sox for Larry Anderson

1972 – Cubs released Steve Hamilton

1952 – With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Phil Cavarretta hit a two-run pinch-hit homer and gave the Cubs a 4-3 win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field. It was Cavarretta’s last home run as a Cub.

1930 – Woody English scored five runs and Hack Wilson hit his 42nd home run of the season as the Cubs beat the Phillies 17-3 at Wrigley Field. Starter Pat Malone went the distance and hit a home run.

1911 – Cubs traded Cliff Curtis to the Phillies for Jack Rowan

1910 – Cubs purchased Jim Doyle from Louisville of the American Association

1909 – For the second time in eight days, Ed Reulbach won his 16th straight game against an opponent. Reulbach beat the Reds and extended a winning streak against the Redlegs that began on April 15, 1906.

1907 – Grandstand caught on fire during an exhibition game in Bridgeport, CT. Cubs players help put out the fire then beat Bridgeport 3-1.

1886 – John Clarkson set a franchise record, at the time, by striking out 16 batters in a 7-2 win over Kansas City at West Side Park.

August 17

2003 – Cubs acquired Randall Simon from the Pirates for Ray Sadler

1979 – Cubs traded Ted Sizemore to the Red Sox for a PTBNL and cash. Boston sent Mike O’Berry to the Cubs on October 23, 1979 to complete the trade

1932 – Cubs beat the Braves 3-2 in 19 innings at Wrigley Field on a long fly out with the bases loaded  by Frank Demaree. Reliever Bud Tinning pitched 12 2/3 shutout innings.

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon