After making five Minor League rehab starts, Jake Arrieta will rejoin the Chicago Cubs on Monday when they head to Cincinnati. When Arrieta rejoins the rotation is still up in the air.
Acquired last July in the Scott Feldman trade, Arrieta finished 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA in nine starts. He was expected to figure into the rotation this season, but was slowed by tightness in his right shoulder. The rehab starts essentially represented his “Spring Training” and he’s now ready to go.
Of the starting rotation’s five members, Edwin Jackson and Carlos Villanueva have struggled the most. But it’s highly unlikely Jackson will be removed, and Villanueva has been a valuable bullpen arm for the Cubs.
In his four starts, Villanueva is 1-3 with a 10.19 ERA. He will likely still make his next start, as making the switch now would have Arrieta pitching on only four days rest. No decision will be made until Renteria and pitching coach Chris Bosio get the opportunity to see Arrieta in person, according to Muskat.