Jake Arrieta Set to Make His Season Debut on Wednesday, Replacing Carlos Villanueva

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Jake Arrieta Set to Make His Season Debut on Wednesday, Replacing Carlos Villanueva

Chicago Cubs News

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.


Author: Brett Taylor

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