There were hints of it earlier in the week, and now the Cubs have confirmed it: rehabbing starter Jake Arrieta will make one more rehab start in the minors before making his season debut with the big league team.
Arrieta, 28, was slowed by a stiff shoulder in Spring Training, and the Cubs elected to take it nice and easy with a guy who has so much upside, and could be an important part of the rotation for years to come. His last rehab start came down in Daytona on Monday, and it sounds like he’s ready to go.
Ricky Renteria tells ESPN, however, that they’ll give Arrieta one more “short” outing before bringing him up, similar to what pitchers do at the end of Spring Training. The timing and location of that short outing are TBA.
Assuming Arrieta takes Carlos Villanueva’s spot in the rotation, the Cubs could try to have Arrieta make his “short” outing on “short” rest, which could line him up to return on Wednesday, April 30. Alternatively, the Cubs could let Villanueva make one last start in that spot, using the following off-day to recover a bit, and then head back to the bullpen on May 2 (maybe getting one more day off, and the Cubs would just pitch an arm short that day). Arrieta, then, could make his debut on May 2, which would be just one day longer than normal rest.