Expectations for Jake Arrieta in his return to the Chicago Cubs could be summed up as “cautiously optimistic”. It was widely accepted that Arrieta would not pitch like the Cy Young winner from 2015, but there was hope for him to be at least serviceable coming back to a familiar environment.
At 35 years old and coming off some rough seasons in Philadelphia, serviceable and/or solid is pretty much the ceiling of his abilities at this point. His velocity has gone down over the past few years and he has dealt with some injuries.
We had seen toward the end of his first Cubs tenure in 2017 that he was having to adjust his game as his abilities started to shift and, in some ways, diminish. Thus why the Cubs were keener on bringing in free agent Yu Darvish than re-signing Arrieta in 2018.
10 starts into 2021 we have seen some decent and some not-so-great from the bearded veteran. Here is a breakdown of what Arrieta has done so far and what we can hopefully see as we go forward.