Chicago Cubs: Choosing between Jake Arrieta and Shohei Otani
By Tyler Jadah
Chicago Cubs: Who is riskier long-term?
Jake Arrieta started at least 25 games in four consecutive seasons for the Cubs. During which he pitched an average of 187 innings and averaged 16 wins to go along with 188 strikeouts. He’s proven himself in the postseason, especially when the Cubs needed him most. He went 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA during the 2016 World Series and threw a masterful Game 6 to push the Cubs to their eventual Game 7 win.
Otani suffered an ankle injury earlier this summer that limited him to 57 games as an outfielder and only four starts as a pitcher. A pitcher who isn’t pitching is one thing, but a two-way player who isn’t contributing on either facet turns into a bigger problem. The baseball world knows Arrieta can pitch, contribute and excel – he’s proven it before. Otani hasn’t proven himself on Major League soil yet. And there’s always the chance he doesn’t come through. You can’t take that type of risk.
What’s the final call?
Without being able to predict how Otani could make the switch over to Major League customs, hitters and routines, the final advantage has to go to Mr. Arrieta.
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The two leagues are akin to different worlds – Jake Arrieta has already demonstrated what type of player, pitcher and person he is. Until after Otani comes to the States, there’s no telling what he’ll be on the big stage.
For that reason, here’s hoping the Cubs target Jake to be tossing in Cubbie blue again in 2018 and for years to come.