Jake Arrieta answers fan questions in Twitter mailbag

Jake Arrieta is a big part of the reason the Cubs are contenders this season. David Banks/Getty Images

ST.LOUIS -- He’s on a roll of a lifetime as 18-game winner Jake Arrieta prepares for his next start on Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies. In between workouts and bullpen sessions the Chicago Cubs righty -- and Cy Young award candidate -- took time to answer your questions.

Jake Arrieta: It's a gratifying experience. Being with a group of guys and all pulling on the same rope and being on a winning team. There's no substitute for that. It's a privilege because only a handful of teams are winning teams and get a chance to go the playoffs and roll the dice and win a World Series. That's the position we're in now. We're one of those teams with that opportunity so it's special.

JA: Either the Texas Rangers or Seattle Mariners because of Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. I think I liked Seattle because they played Texas so much and were good with Jay Buhner, Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez. I gravitated towards the Mariners.

JA: The obvious is Miguel Cabrera. He's always an incredibly difficult out. He's the best. It doesn't matter what the scouting report says he can hit it.

JA: (laughing) No, it doesn't benefit my pitching. But, you feel good, you play good. So maybe that has something to do with it. I think it looks good so you look good, you feel good, you play good. That works.

JA: A lot of ways. Quiet time with the family. On the water, on the mountain, eating good food. Being with friends and family. We're outside for a good amount of each day. If it's not raining we enjoy nature. Get outside. It's important for me to get my kids outdoors at an early age and active.

JA: See what fingers he's putting down, take a deep breath and execute the pitch. That's really it. Nothing more.

JA: No. That's the quick, short answer. There were so many other things I didn't do well. I didn't command the fastball. I didn't get ahead of the count so using my cutter wouldn't have done me much good. If I'm in a 2-0 count and I can't locate the cutter what good does it do.

JA: I don't have one. I'm not a big favorites guy. Movies, I like "Mad Max" right now because I just saw it. If you ask me two years ago it's a different answer. Same song-wise. It depends on my mood. If I'm on the beach I want to listen to some relaxing, calming musical. Tropical stuff. If I'm getting ready for a game its electronic maybe some heavy guitar. Classic rock or alternative. Stuff like that.

JA: Probably looking because the hitter has two strikes, he's ready to swing, trying to protect. So if you freeze a guy with two strikes that's pretty good. But I'll take both. Either way.

JA: There's a lot I'd like to do. My Pilates instructor and I have talked about running our own facility. We might actually start that in the next couple of years. I've looked into opening a health food store or juice bar. Things that are in the health, wellness or fitness arena. Those are things I'm passionate about. Maybe something in the restaurant industry. I know some chefs and people that can steer me in the right direction. It's still up in the air but there's a lot on the plate I'd like to get involved in.