Cubs News: We’ve got good news on the Jake Arrieta injury front

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Given how solid Jake Arrieta had been prior to his last outing, watching him give up seven runs in just three-plus frames definitely set off some warning bells. At first, I thought it was just some overdue regression, but then it turned out the Chicago Cubs hurler was pitching with a cut on his right thumb glued shut.

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Despite that poor outing against the Reds, Arrieta still boasts the lowest ERA of any Cubs starter (4.31). Getting him back after missing just one start is a big win for Chicago, who will have a chance to go after the Tigers on their home turf and, hopefully, make up some ground in the NL Central. Detroit enters action on Tuesday at 10-24, by far the worst record in the league.

With Kyle Hendricks still working on getting back on track (you can definitely make the case he was the recipient of some pretty brutal luck on Sunday) and the inconsistency you’ve seen from others in the rotation, Arrieta has been a steadying presence for this team early on this year.

Through his first five starts, the bearded right-hander pitched at least five innings and did not allow more than three earned in any one outing. He actually got through six frames in three of those five starts and, despite the trip to the IL, he still ranks second on the team in innings pitched this year.

"“It would have been nice to have been one day sooner, but that’s just how it worked out,” Arrieta told NBC Sports Chicago. “With the off days, it gives me extra time to get this thing back to 100 percent and only miss one go-around.”"

Cubs: Jake Arrieta has no issues in his bullpen over the weekend

Over the weekend, Arrieta threw a bullpen at Wrigley Field and, according to David Ross, everything ‘went well’. Of course, getting anyone back off the IL at this point is a win – especially on the position player side of the equation, where the team’s outfield depth is being seriously tested.

The starting rotation, meanwhile, has been a monster for the Cubs this year – and not in the good sense, either. Chicago starters rank dead last in Major League Baseball with a 5.32 ERA and .268 opponent batting average. We knew that the front office’s approach to building out the staff could be hit-or-miss, but the struggles of Hendricks have really crippled this staff in the first month.

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Hopefully, upon his return this weekend, Arrieta can get back to being that stopper the Cubs so clearly need in the rotation. Aside from his clunker that we can assume was the result of pitching through an injury, he’s been that guy for us this season – and he’ll need to continue filling that role if Chicago hopes to get back to the top of the NL Central.