CINCINNATI -- On second thought Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta will have to wait until Saturday to make his season debut as Monday’s rain out against the Cincinnati Reds has pushed back his start.
Arrieta was originally supposed to take the mound Wednesday against the Reds, but the Cubs want to keep their pitchers on a regular rotation as they navigate the rain out and a scheduled off-day Thursday.
“So Jeff (Samardzija) today (Tuesday) then (Travis) Wood, then Arrieta and then (Jason) Hammel,” manager Rick Renteria said before Tuesday night’s game against the Reds.
It means Arrieta will debut at Wrigley Field against the St. Louis Cardinals.
“One of my best friends is Matt Carpenter,” Arrieta said of the Cardinals leadoff hitter. “So my first pitch of the season should come against him. I love competing against him. We’d go to the rec center and have days of competition.”
Arrieta and Carpenter went to Texas Christian University together as Arrieta said he never dreamed they’d both make it to the majors. He’s itching to start his season after a lengthy disabled list stay due to shoulder stiffness.
“You can’t get frustrated with those kinds of things,” he said. “Rain can’t be predicted. It’s going to rain a lot early in the season and you re-arrange your schedule accordingly.”
Arrieta will throw another bullpen session Wednesday, the day he was originally supposed to pitch.
“It allows for added preparation,” Arrieta said.
Arrieta was 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA after being acquired from Baltimore last July.