Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Arrieta close to rejoining Cubs' starting rotation

Jake Arrieta will need at least one more rehab start with Double-A Tennessee before he rejoins the Chicago Cubs rotation, tweets MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.

Arrieta entered spring training with shoulder tightness that saw him make minimal appearances on the mound and eventual give Carlos Villanueva a spot in the starting rotation.

In his most recent outing, he struck out four and walked two in 3 2/3 innings. Over two rehab starts, he has given up one unearned run on three hits, struck out seven and walked three over 6 2/3 innings.

Arrieta was acquired along with Pedro Strop in exchange for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger in July of 2013. In nine starts, Arrieta went 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA, striking out 37 and walking 24 over 51 2/3 innings.

Once Arrieta is healthy enough to rejoin the rotation, Villanueva will move to the bullpen for long relief outings or be reassigned to Triple-A Iowa where he will join Kyle Hendricks, Eric Jokish, Carlos Pimentel, and Chris Rusin (who he beat out for the fifth spot) in Iowa’s starting rotation.

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