The Chicago Cubs just finished their fake rallying to lose the first game of today’s double header, 6-5. If you’re looking for a reason to watch tonight’s game, Jake Arrieta might be it. Mr. Arrieta was acquired along with Pedro Strop in the Scott Feldman trade and will be making his first start as a Cub tonight. -
What do we know about Arrieta? He’s 27, throws hard and has struggled in the majors. He has a 5.46 ERA in 358 career innings, all with the Orioles over the course of the last four seasons. He’s one of those guys the Cubs are hoping has a resurgence with a change of scenery. Here’s a fantasy write-up from Fangraphs just after the trade.
Arrieta has always been a strange favorite of mine. Arrieta has what some would deem an “electric fastball,” featuring both velocity and arm-side movement. While Arrieta’s fastball can look great at times, he has massive issues controlling it, or any of his other offerings, for that matter. In 114 innings last year, Arrieta had an ERA over 6.00, but a FIP of 4.05. In five starts this year, the results have been much worse, but the Cubs are betting on the flamethrower learning how to harness his stuff and regress to his peripherals.
Control seems to be the big issue with Arrieta. His career BB/9 is 4.0. But Jake is glad to be somewhere new and have a new start.
“It was almost like a weight off my shoulders, really,” he said of the deal. “I felt like I was able to do a lot of good things over there, but there were some things that kept me from being able to do it on a consistent basis. My time there was great, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. There came the point where they felt a move needed to be made to better their team and better this team as well.
“I’ve got a lot to offer,” he said. “I feel I’m a guy who can go out there and be a bulldog and pitch deep in games, and I know I can do it on a consistent basis so it’s just a matter of finally going out there and doing it.”
Here’s to hoping you finally go out there and do it, starting tonight, Jake.
His opponent tonight will be Tyler Thornburg. Thornburg was the Brewers’ top prospect on MLB.com’s list entering this season. He’s 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA in six games this season, but tonight will be his first start. In 15 starts in AAA, he’s 0-9 with a 5.79 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.
Game time is 7:05 Central. The TV broadcast is on CSN.