On Thursday, the Chicago Cubs announced that starting pitcher Jake Arrieta will be brought along slowly during Spring Training as the pitcher experienced shoulder tightness three weeks ago.
Arrieta spoke with reporters on Friday and indicated that he is feeling good and wouldn’t rule out being ready to break camp with the Cubs.
“I could have been doing too much there,” Arrieta said on Friday. “I tend to get a little eager and push the envelope, maybe a little too early.” -Jake Arrieta, ESPN Chicago
The plan is still for Arrieta to be brought along slowly. The 27-year old starting pitcher showed potential for the Cubs at the end of the 2013 season and figured to open the 2014 season as the Cubs’ fifth starter. A role that would likely go to James McDonald if Arrieta isn’t ready at the start of the season.
Arrieta indicated, however, that he has had pain-free throwing sessions since experiencing the tightness in his shoulder.
“I’ve had a couple of sessions of throwing pain-free,” he said. “I feel really good. I think the progress will pick up, but at the same time we do want to be cautious and make sure I am around for the majority of the season.” Arrieta, ESPN Chicago
Cautious is the exact approach that the Cubs will take with Arrieta. There is no need for Arrieta to be rushed up to speed for the mere purpose of starting the season in the Major Leagues. Such a scenario would likely lead to more injury concerns for the former Baltimore Orioles pitcher during the season.
Arrieta is holding out hope that he can be a part of the Cubs opening day 25-man roster, though, it would appear that the team is operating under the sense that the pitcher will not be ready by opening day.
The Cubs open the season on March 31 in Pittsburgh against the Pirates.