After being forced to leave his start early in Thursday’s Chicago Cubs‘ game due to a blister, Jake Arrieta said he’ll be fine and ready for Opening Day–but Joe Maddon pumped the brakes on that a bit
It’s almost a given that pitchers will suffer a blister or two during Spring Training. Getting back to a heavier workload, repetition, etc. It’s not necessarily that Arrieta has one, it’s the timing of it that’s concerning for Joe Maddon. While Arrieta thinks he’ll be ready to go, Maddon wants to be sure it doesn’t turn into a chronic issue that doesn’t necessarily keep Arrieta from starting but being the effective pitcher he was last season.
"“Blisters can be funny. Right now we haven’t called off the jam yet. We want to look at it after another day or two. You don’t want it to be chronic. You don’t want that to happen. h/t Jesse Rogers, ESPN"
Arrieta says it’s due to the dryness out in Arizona, as well as the fact that he always has issues with dry skin (Hey, Arrieta is like me! Except way more awesome at baseball). He’s reached out for suggestions on how to deal with it. David Ross would be a good place to start I would think, more years of experience. But until then, the Cubs’ training staff has an adhesive that will hopefully work better than the super glue that didn’t really work at all in his last start.
A blister doesn’t really sound like much, but it’s something that all of us can relate to. And having one on your pitching hand, constantly applying the friction of a baseball to try and make it do what you need it to do? Not a pleasant experience. While I do want to see Arrieta make his Opening Day start, I don’t want it to be at the expense of his effectiveness. There are several former starters in the bullpen that can help pick up the slack for a bit until Jake is ready.
The Cubs will likely give Arrieta a few days and then reassess the situation to see if he’ll be ready for Opening Day against the Anaheim Angels. Probably not a good idea to come into that game against players like Albert Pujols and Mike Trout without your best stuff. Good things come to those who wait. Yeah Yeah, I know how many years we’ve waited–but we can survive a start if he misses it. We survived the “No Kris Bryant” era of 2015 for that stretch.