jake arrietaIs Jake Arrieta coming to Chicago this week?

Well, Dude, we just don’t know.

Arrieta pitched for the Daytona Cubs last night in what could prove to be his final rehab start (shoulder stiffness in Spring Training), going 5.2 innings and reaching his pitch limit. That limit was supposed to be right around 100 pitches, though his pitch total from yesterday’s start hasn’t been published.

In those 5.2 innings, Arrieta gave up five runs on five hits and two walks. Among those five hits were three homers, but it sounds like a couple of them were helped by some gusts of wind, though (MiLB.com). Arrieta also struck out seven, which is swell.

But the question remains: is Arrieta now set to make his debut with the Cubs? That’s been the expectation, but Ricky Renteria held open the possibility that Arrieta would make one more rehab start before coming to the Cubs (Cubs.com). Indeed, Carrie Muskat said last night that another rehab start is likely.

Assuming Carlos Villanueva’s is the spot Arrieta will take, there was already a bit of a hangnail in lining up Arrieta’s return this week – Villanueva is scheduled to start on Friday, and Arrieta won’t have five days of rest until Saturday. The Cubs don’t have an off-day until after the next five day stretch after Saturday, so there’s no help there, either. Unless the Cubs want to pitch with a short bullpen, they aren’t going to be able to throw Villanueva and Arrieta in successive days. They could call up Chris Rusin for a spot-start, or they could have Arrieta throw on the side, rather than making a full start, so that he can sub in for Villanueva the next time through the rotation.

We’ll probably get a signal on the plan in the next few days. Either way, we’ll see Arrieta back in the rotation by the end of April, and we will likely see Villanueva heading to the bullpen (bouncing … Blake Parker?).

  • JCubs79

    Probably should give him one more rehab start. Let him get to 100 pitches again, see if he can have a better outing and bring him up at the beginning of May.

  • Zoolander

    Arrieta went 5.2 innings last night, allowing only five hits with seven strikeouts. I would like to see Jake in the Cubs’ starting rotation for his next start.

  • cubmig

    Arrieta being “ready” is a relative thing, but if roster and/or schedule problems don’t allow him being brought back, it hardly makes a difference how ready he is. If the Cubs want him back, they’ll do that even if (as mentioned) Arrieta throws simulated game(s) on the side. Surely the org had it’s ducks in a row for this eventuality.

    ……so what’s the problem?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There isn’t a “problem,” right?

      • CubFan Paul

        Had he thrown 7 and struck out 10, people wouldn’t be so lukewarm. Everyone is basking in Travis Wood’s glow right now to care what a rehab start entails

      • cubmig

        No “problema” with the Arrieta situation…..only with the club as a whole right now.

  • fromthemitten

    Sounds like Veras could use a break on the DL for “Arm Fatigue”