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Jake Arrieta Throwing a Final (Hopefully) Bullpen Today Before Return to the Rotation (UPDATE: Expects to Start Thursday)

Chicago Cubs News

After a successful bullpen session on Saturday, Jake Arrieta is getting back up on the mound today in Tampa Bay. No, he’s not back in the rotation yet, but the hope is that he will be when the Cubs head to Milwaukee for a pivotal four-game series this weekend.


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Assuming Arrieta feels good today and early tomorrow, he should make his return from a September 4 hamstring injury in the next few days. That will give Arrieta the opportunity to make three starts, if necessary, before the postseason begins.


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Before his mild hamstring strain, Arrieta was on fire, earning NL Pitcher of the Month honors for August, and continuing a stretch of dominance that went back to May. In July and August combined (before his injury), Arrieta posted a 1.69 ERA over 69.1 innings, as his soft contact rate soared and his hard contact rate plummeted. He looked like a guy we recognized.

Hopefully upon his return, with a little extra rest for the arm, Arrieta can continue being that guy on into the playoffs. His mechanics are notoriously complicated, so you don’t want to see them thrown out of whack by a leg injury.

It’s a good sign, though, that he’s back this quickly. Two weeks for a hamstring strain, even a very mild one, is an extremely speedy return.


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UPDATE (Michael): According to Gordon Wittenmyer on Twitter, Arrieta’s session went well and he does, indeed, expect to start on Thursday (albeit on a 75-80 pitch count):

That’s great news.


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.