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And here comes Jake Arrieta.

The updating confirmation:

This morning I wondered openly whether the Cubs would consider letting Jake Arrieta make his season debut on “short” rest, given that his final rehab outing went just 44 pitches. Wednesday would give him four days of rest, and, obviously that’s when Carlos Villanueva’s next start comes up in the rotation. You’ll recall that, about a week and a half ago, the Cubs rejiggered the rotation such that Villanueva and Arrieta would be making starts just one day apart. And then the Cubs gave Arrieta an additional, short rehab start. Perhaps they were holding open this possibility – assuming Arrieta’s body responded well – all along?

Villanueva hasn’t been lighting the world on fire out of the rotation, and Arrieta possesses impressive stuff and the theoretically ability to pitch his way into a long-term job with the Cubs. Fans, then, will likely be excited to see his return. Villanueva could move back to the bullpen as soon as tonight, and then the Cubs will have to send a reliever back to the minors (or let someone go, I suppose) on Wednesday. I tend to think, at this point, Villanueva’s stuff might play better in the pen.

Arrieta was slowed in Spring Training by a stiff shoulder, and essentially just completed his version of the “fake games” portion of Spring Training by way of minor league rehab starts. It’ll be good to get another look at him. That the Cubs are ready to send him out there, even on short-ish rest, is probably a good sign as far as how he’s been looking so far.

  • Edwin

    Cool.

  • cubsfan1594

    Who’s going to get optioned to Iowa?

    • ssckelley

      I would think Schlitter or Ramirez.

      • Darth Ivy

        Every time I read “Schlitter” this pops into my head

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5oFTlae9cg

        • Medicos

          DARTH: Great sketch from SNL. Too bad the most recent SNL episodes have ”Schlitter” They have a cast of no name performers and the comedy writing has been going down the toliet for months. When a team of writers can’t produce decent material for an outstanding talent like Louie CK something is terribly wrong. Lorne Michaels just might on the way out. Just hope John Candy is happy in heaven in his luxurious home in “a van down by the river!!!”

          • HislersHero

            Louis* CK

            And it was Chris Farley in a van down by the river, not John Candy.

            • Medicos

              Thanks Double H: It was Chris Farley. Both Candy and Farley possessed outstanding comedic genius. Too bad they’re no longer able to entertain us!!!

              • HislersHero

                Amen

              • Brocktoon

                Farley couldn’t hold Candy’s jock. Farley just screamed and flopped, Candy had actual depth.

                • Matt

                  They were both hilarious, no need to try pitting them against each other.

                  • Medicos

                    Bet both Candy and Farley are up in heaven working in doubles tag team wrestling events with Andy Kaufman as their manager.

    • Funn Dave

      If we knew, it would be in the article.

    • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

      Villanueva goes on the 15-day DL with “exhaustion”.

  • Darth Ivy

    I wish he had more innings this year to judge him for fantasy. If he can get his walk rate down to his 2012 level and cut down on the homers he gives up in this bigs, he’d be worth picking up.

    • http://iawrestle.com On The Farm

      Really? Do you play in a really deep league?

      • Darth Ivy

        I have lots of starters. No bench offense, only 2 closers. And I kind of have a thing for high ceiling risky guys early in the season. Soon it won’t be that early, I guess. That’s why I wish he had more innings so I knew how he was doing with his command. The homers thing is only a problem for him in the majors, so we have to wait on that.

        And sure, maybe it’s a little home-team bias. This year, though, I’ve found that I have an anti-home team bias.

      • Brocktoon

        8 team NL Central Only League

      • Darth Ivy

        So far my two teams with this strategy are 59-19-10.

        • http://iawrestle.com On The Farm

          Well I suppose what do I really know. I suppose it depends on what stats you count as well, but I always thought Arrieta was too walk prone and when he gives up runs he gives them up in bunches. I have been out of the fantasy baseball game for the last two years or so.

          • Darth Ivy

            that’s exactly right on. He walks too many people. He had a nice walk rate in 2012 of 2.75 BB/9 over 115 IP. Other than that, it’s not good. Then he gives up the homers. Bad combination. But given the quality of his stuff, if he gets back to sub 3.00 BB/9 and gets those homers in check, boo-ya. There’s a really nice pitcher there. Even if he reduces his walks but not the homers, he’ll be in the back end.

            • Diggs

              Could be decent against weak offenses, as most of the Cubs’ starters have been this year. I would think you’d be able to monitor his first few starts without anyone else picking him up.

              • Darth Ivy

                I think you’re right.

  • willis

    This is really good news. He responded well to his rehab and must have had a great side today. He is an insanely intriguing arm. With Bosio helping, I think he can be an effective starter for this team.

    With four days rest, I’d guess he’d be on an 80-85 pitch count limit. Still, better than the alternative.

    • Q-Ball

      Arrieta is frustrating; great velocity, but he’s never had the movement or command to miss bats.

      Until he proves otherwise, he’s a passable 4th or 5th starter; that’s it

  • cubfanincardinalland

    His stuff is electric. His strike out rate in the minors is one per inning. He has never had the command to consistently throw strikes. He was fantastic in September last season.

    • http://becomehealthier.com drcub1908

      Electric stuff ? I dont think so…he has all the potential in the world to be an effective starter..so I will be right here at the edge of my seat patiently waiting..and watching Shark and Hammel get traded for yet more players with “potential”……and be on Baez watch daily Soler, who has yet to play a full minor league season and with any effectiveness…and the rest of the “PROSPECTS”

      Bryant is the ONLY sure think for MLB success…

      • Funn Dave

        However, sadly, Bryant passed away unexpectedly today.

        Ok, no he didn’t. But you can see, through that particularly sadistic example, how ridiculous it is to ever guarantee that a player who has never played in the majors will have MLB success.

      • DarthHater

        You’re right. His stuff is diesel.

  • sunshine and rainbows

    I’m looking forward to seeing Arrieta pitch. I do think the ‘stache will turn it around in the bullpen. I think he’s still got the stuff to be pretty good and if my memory serves correctly he’s been much better there than as a starter.

  • JasonP

    Arrieta pre 2010

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/minorleagues/prospects/y2009/profile.jsp?t=p_top&pid=453562

    9 whole spots in front of James McDonald.

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