Joe Maddon made it official Tuesday morning. Jake Arrieta will get the ball on Opening Night against the Angels on April 4.
Jake Arrieta becomes the third different Opening Day starter in the last three years. Jeff Samardzija (2014) and Jon Lester (2015) received the honor the previous two seasons. Arrieta gets the Opening Day assignment for the second time in his career. Arrieta started the Orioles first game of the 2012 season.
Joe Maddon did not announce if Jon Lester or John Lackey will follow Arrieta in his Opening Day rotation.
Jake Arrieta cemented the NL Cy Young Award after putting together an historic second half. Arrieta finished the year with a 22-6 record in 33 starts with a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 2.35 FIP. Arrieta allowed 52 runs, 45 earned, on 150 hits with 48 walks and 236 strikeouts in 229 innings.
Arrieta tossed the first no-hitter of his career against the Dodgers and completed four games in the regular season with three of those being complete game shutouts.
After the break, Arrieta was 12-1 in 15 starts with a 0.75 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. Arrieta gave up only 12 runs, nine earned, on 55 hits with 23 walks and 113 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings.
Outside of Wrigley Field last season, Arrieta was 13-1 with a 1.60 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in 18 starts. Arrieta allowed 29 runs, 22 earned, on 83 hits with 25 walks and 129 strikeouts.
For his career, Arrieta is 0-1 in three starts against the Angels with a 7.47 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Arrieta allowed 13 runs, all earned, on 15 hits with eight walks and 12 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings. Arrieta will make his third career start at Angels Stadium. Arrieta is 0-1 in two starts at the ‘Big A’ with a 12.38 ERA and 2.12 WHIP.
Jake Arrieta has not faced the Angels since he was traded to the Cubs. Arrieta’s last appearance against the Angels was on July 5, 2012.
If all goes as planned during Spring Training, Arrieta will have Miguel Montero behind the plate. And Joe Maddon will be able to use a designated hitter for the first two games of the 2016 season.