Chicago Cubs: Jake Arrieta makes first spring appearance in 5-3 loss to Tribe
On Monday, Apr. 4, reigning National League Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the Chicago Cubs when they open up their season on the road against Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels.
You’ve heard a ton of news regarding Chicago’s 29-year-old right-hander dating back to last season when he emerged as the club’s ace and turned in one of the most memorable seasons by a Cub in franchise history.
As he carried his team with 22 wins and a no-hitter under his belt, Arrieta was due for a massive payday during the offseason. Both Arrieta’s camp and the front office of the Cubs found themselves in their first stand still when they were $5 million apart before an arbitration hearing was scheduled.
But as a true professional, Jake attended the Cubs Convention without drawing any type of negative attention to himself or the team he has represented over the past couple of seasons.
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Not too long after the convention wrapped up, the arbitration hearing was set in hopes the parties involved coming to an agreement on a 1-year deal. It didn’t take them too long for that to happen.
Just a few days before they were scheduled to appear, Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs met five million shy of the $13 million counter offer with $10.7 million for 2016.
This opened the door for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to begin negotiations for a long-term contract with Arrieta and his agent, Scott Boras. Now they are another crossroads after Chicago backed away from a 6-to-7 year deal.
And again, like a true professional, Arrieta moved on with a positive mindset. He made his first Cactus League appearance of the season, hurling two scoreless innings with two strikeouts in the 5-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
Chicago failed to provide any run support for the veteran, scoring their first run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a solo homer by prospect Jeimer Candelario.
The Tribe struck first when Pierce Johnson took over for the Cubs in the top of the third thanks to Giovanny Urshela‘s second home run of the spring. Carlos Santana extended their lead to 2-0 on an RBI single to right field, driving in Erik Gonzalez.
It was a rough day for those who followed Arrieta on the mound as Johnson, Edward Olmos, Rex Brothers, Michael Jensen, and C.J. Riefenhauser were tagged for a combined 10 hits, five earned runs with as many walks and only three strikeouts.
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Johnson was issued his first loss of the spring while Cleveland ace Corey Kluber picked up his first win in two starts.
Veteran southpaw Jon Lester will be up next for the North Siders when they hit the road to take on Wade Miley and the Seattle Mariners later on this afternoon at 2:10 p.m. central time.