According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta is going to be called up to the big leagues. The 27-year-old will start this Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Carlos Villanueva will go back to the bullpen as Arrieta takes his spot in the rotation. It appears that Arrieta will finish the season in the Cubs’ rotation as the team tries to get a good look at him heading in to next season.
The Cubs acquired Arrieta along with relief pitcher Pedro Strop from the Baltimore Orioles earlier this season. Arrieta has always had great stuff, but he has never been able to put it all together at the major league level. He has spent most of his time in Triple-A since the trade, but Arrieta did start a game against the Milwaukee Brewers late in July.
In that start, he went six innings, walked three batters but only gave up two hits. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a solo home run off the bat of Juan Francisco. Arrieta received a no-decision for the game but he pitched very well.
In seven starts at Triple-A Iowa, Arrieta is 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA. He has given up 4.7 walks per nine innings, which is certainly something that he must work on. On the positive side, he is striking out 11.6 batters per nine innings. The strikeout rate is very encouraging to me as it shows that Arrieta’s electric stuff is still there. He has the talent to succeed at the major league level, and just needs to work on his command.
Arrieta will be showcasing his talent for the Cubs the rest of this season as he will try to prove that he should be in the 2014 starting rotation. I like the upside that Arrieta shows and he is definitely a player to watch for the rest of the season.