Chicago Cubs: A reunion with Jake Arrieta is a must

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Last season was not a terrible year for Arrieta

The three years prior to the 2017 season for Arrieta were off the charts. From 2014 to 2016, Arrieta went 50-19 with a 2.42 ERA and 593 strikeouts in 583 innings pitched. In addition to that, Arrieta logged an ERA+ of 162 and averaged 9.2 strikeouts per game.

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Over that great run, Arrieta won a Cy Young award and finished in the top ten in voting all three years.

Arrieta’s 2017 performance was rather solid

Because of that success, many people think Arrieta’s 2017 season was a failure. Well, I am here to tell that if you feel that way, you are wrong. It’s easy to look at Arrieta’s first three months of the 2017 campaign and see regression.

In April, May and June, Arrieta logged ERA’s north of 4.50 each month. Despite that, Arrieta settled down in the second half of the season, posting sub-3.00 ERA in July and August.

What resulted from that rough first half was a 3.53 ERA for the season over 168 1/3 innings pitched. Even though that ERA is higher than the previous three seasons, Arrieta still amassed a 123 ERA+, well above league average. In addition to maintaining a solid ERA+, Arrieta improved upon his strikeout rate from 2016. After walking 3.47 batters per nine in 2016, Arrieta bested that by posting a 2.94 mark in 2017.

Along with his improved walk rate, Arrieta also improved his strikeout rate from 2016. That number inched up from 8.67 in 2016 to 8.71 in 2017.