When the Chicago Cubs were still looking to add another arm to the rotation early in the year, many fans, myself included, were in favor of signing former Cub Jake Arrieta. Obviously, no one was expecting the dominant 2015 Cy Young winner of old to suddenly appear after a rather disappointing tenure in Philadelphia, but Arrieta was the perfect fit for a backend of the rotation spot.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
At first, Arrieta’s second go-round with the Cubs was going perfectly fine, as he still looked like a very solid and capable starter, but things have gotten progressively worse over his last few starts.
Over his last four starts, Arrieta has given up 14 earned runs in just 15 2/3 innings pitched, good for an unsightly ERA of 8.04. The bearded right-hander has particularly struggled in the early innings of all of his starts, often suffering from a lot of wildness in the first and second innings before being able to settle down a bit, but the problem is that he’s starting to struggle to get through these early struggles.
Chicago Cubs have to get more from Jake Arrieta if they hope to contend
While he’s hardly the only Cubs starter that’s struggled this year, Arrieta’s struggles of late have been costly for Chicago. His shortcomings really reached a boiling point in his start against San Francisco when he gave up six runs in just two innings of work and it wound up being too much of a hole for the Cubs to dig out of.
While part of this could’ve been due to an illness he discussed after the game, it’s not like these lackluster showings are anything new. If he can’t straighten them out, the Chicago Cubs are going to have to make another move for a starter sooner rather than later.
It’s certainly not time to pull the plug on Arrieta just yet, but the production from him and the back end of the rotation, in general, has to improve. The Cubs have been playing excellent baseball as of late in spite of mounting injuries, and Arrieta needs to be someone the club can rely on for the time being as they potentially look for arms to add to the rotation for a postseason push.
No one is expecting or even really asking for Jake Arrieta to return to his Cy Young form, but he needs to find a way to become a more solid option for the team at the backend of the rotation, or the team may have to move on from the franchise favorite.