Jake Arrieta took the hill at Sloan Park on Wednesday for his first start of the spring. Arrieta was rather efficient in his two innings of work.
Arrieta struck out four of the six batters he faced. Arrieta made 31 pitches, 20 for strikes, with a fastball velocity in the 94-96 mph range. Arrieta punched out the first two batters he saw in the exhibition game and recorded two strikeouts in each inning. The other two outs were a flyout to left and a grounder to second base.
Arrieta told the beat writers after his outing, “I’m exactly where I thought I would be. No aches or pains, bumps or bruises. Now I’m on my five-day, which is important for me. Tomorrow I can go through by normal routine.”
Arrieta will be able to build up to 85-90 pitches by Opening Night now that he is pitching every five days. Arrieta thinks with an 85-90 pitch limit that he can get through seven to eight innings. Arrieta will likely make four more starts this spring.
Arrieta said he felt no fatigue after the two innings and could have pitched a third. Arrieta had a 40-pitch limit on Wednesday. According to ESPN Chicago, if Arrieta had pitched a third inning he joked that he would have walked the first batter so he could work out of the stretch.
Arrieta reiterated Wednesday that he is fine with the Cubs plan to limit his workload, especially early in the season. And he agrees with the team’s “decision to bring him and fellow starters Jon Lester and John Lackey along slowly to preserve their workload for the regular season” according to the Tribune.
Jake Arrieta’s next spring start is Monday against the Padres at Sloan Park (March 14). Pitching every five days would have him facing the Indians in Goodyear (March 19), the Giants in Scottsdale (March 24) and the Athletics at Sloan Park (March 29). Arrieta would actually have one extra day before Opening Night in Anaheim on April 4.
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Report from the Sun-Times
- Report from the Tribune