Is Jake Arrieta the Second Best Pitcher in Baseball? And Other Bullets

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Is Jake Arrieta the Second Best Pitcher in Baseball? And Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

jake arrieta beard featureI hope everyone who is traveling today for the Thanksgiving holiday is safe and appropriately cautious while driving. Yesterday was nuts for me, driving back home to Columbus from Chicago, which usually takes me about six hours, and took me closer to eight. Lots of folks out there driving.

  • Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball. Full stop. Don’t argue with me about it. He just is. Sure, you can debate whether he had the best performance in a given season – indeed, Jake Arrieta won, and deserved to win, the Cy Young award in 2015 – but, if you’re talking about, overall, who is the best pitcher in baseball, it’s Kershaw. No one is close. That’s not a knock on any other pitcher; it’s just that Kershaw is on an an entirely different level. From there, you could have a pretty good debate about which pitcher, right now, is the next best in baseball. Buster Olney says it’s none other than Jake Arrieta, and I think you can make a pretty solid argument that he’s right. When you consider that Arrieta’s breakout actually started in 2014 and was entirely consistent with what everyone knew was possible for Arrieta to do, and when you consider how absurdly, historically good his 2015 season was, I think the short track record of elite performance can be overcome. Ultimately, this is one of those silly, supposed-to-be-fun debates that descends into madness because no one can agree on the parameters of how you define “best”, but I still enjoy the discussion.
  • I think I’d probably go Kershaw-Arrieta 1-2 also, but I’d probably diverge from Olney from there. David Price, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer … those would probably be the next three guys (not necessarily in that order) under consideration for me.
  • More on the plaza and office building west of Wrigley Field over at DNAinfo, including the tricky neighborhood discussion about allowing alcohol in the open-air space.
  • Sammy Sosa’s corked bat incident happened 12 years ago during that incredible 2003 season. I watched the video over at BIF and discussed the moment a bit. I don’t know why it popped into my head this week, but it did.
  • A cool Cubs find on Amazon this morning: a signed Kyle Schwarber ball from his Future’s Game MVP performance this year. It’s still so crazy to remember that he played in the FUTURE’S GAME the same year he did THIS in the MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYOFFS.
  • Isaac Bennett takes a deep look at Javy Baez’s 2015 season.
  • The South Bend Cubs want some input:


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Author: Brett Taylor

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