CHICAGO – A day after throwing 94 pitches in a rehab stint at Class A Daytona, Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta declared himself ready for major league action though he’ll have one more outing in the minors before being activated.
“I think he has a short stint,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Kind of like what we did at the end of spring training.”
Most starting pitchers end the spring with about a three inning outing and no more than 50-60 pitches. Arrieta is itching to get back after being slowed by a stiff shoulder this past offseason. He’s been on the disabled list since the start of the season.
“I got to throw everything,” he said of his Monday outing. “Got built up.”
Arrieta gave up three home runs in 5.2 innings against Clearwater but says the wind was blowing out and isn’t too concerned with the results, though he would like to be even sharper.
“Still need to be more efficient with my changeup,” Arrieta said.
Arrieta was acquired last season from Baltimore for pitcher Scott Feldman and immediately impressed with his devastating off-speed pitches, especially his curveball. The knock has been his control, as he’s averaged four walks per nine innings in his career. When healthy, he’ll be given a chance to pitch his way into the core group the Cubs hope to win with in the near future.
“Just try and bring what I bring to the table and help the guys around me out and hopefully string some wins together and get this thing going in a more positive direction,” Arrieta said.
Arrieta gave up five runs on Monday but produced a 0.73 ERA in three rehab starts with Double-A Tennessee. He owns a 5.23 career ERA in the majors but threw well after the trade to the Cubs. He was 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA in nine starts. His return will mean a move to the bullpen for Carlos Villanueva, who's struggled in his last two starts. Villanueva will get one or two more depending on when the Cubs activate Arrieta.