Jake Arrieta took the mound for the Chicago Cubs today as they took on the Arizona Diamondbacks. But his biggest contribution, naturally, came from his bat:
Yup. Arrieta hit a DEEP solo home run to left-center field in the top of third inning earlier today, pulling the Cubs within one run (at the time). It also managed to remind folks that he was baseball’s best hitting pitcher last season. By, like, a lot.
For those who’ve already forgotten (to be fair, 2016 offered a lot to remember) Arrieta slashed .262/.304/.415 with a 5.7% walk rate in just under 75 plate appearances last season.
Combined with his fielding and base running, Arrieta was worth nearly a full, additional win above replacement off the mound (0.9). He trailed only Madison Bumgarner in the WAR department (1.0), but was a far bigger offensive threat (.310 wOBA v. .274 wOBA) overall.
Clearly, he’s still ready to go.
But I can’t retreat from his offensive performance today just yet. Because that home run wasn’t just any old home run. It was historic and record breaking.
His own record:
.@JArrieta34 just set the bar even higher.
His 462-foot blast today breaks his own record for a pitcher in the #Statcast era (440 feet).
— #Statcast (@statcast) March 23, 2017
So, yeah. Jake Arrieta just upped the ante. His previous record for longest home run by a pitcher in the Statcast era (440 feet) has been erased, and a new one has been erected in its place (462 feet).
Who needs Shohei Otani, anyway?
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) March 23, 2017