Phillies: Will Jake Arrieta be ready for the first week of the season?

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01: Jake Arrieta /

The Phillies biggest acquisition in years may not be ready to contribute

Delight swept across Clearwater and the Delaware Valley when members of the Phillies organization and fanbase learned Jake Arrieta had signed a multi-year deal with the club. Now having a bonafide ace in the rotation for the first time since Cole Hamels the Phillies could be closer to contending than once thought.

Arrieta has already missed nearly a month of training in Clearwater and hasn’t pitched in a game, regular season or spring training, since Game 4 of the NLCS on October 18 when he went just 6 2/3 innings against the Dodgers.

Reports suggest Arrieta is in tremendous shape and he’s physically prepared to play baseball sooner than later. That doesn’t mean he’s ready to step on the mound in two and a half weeks against Atlanta in game two or three of the season.

Arrieta needs to get himself acclimated with the catchers, coaches, fellow pitchers, and the rest of his surroundings. That being said, pitchers have handled this with success in much less time around the trade deadline. The biggest concern is if Arrieta is physically ready to throw 100 pitches against Atlanta in two and a half weeks.

More from Phillies News

If the Phillies’ $75 million man is not ready and/or the organization wishes to be cautious, maybe not Joel Embiid cautious, they could allow Arrieta to wait another week for the start of the season.

That could mean Matt Klentak might have to finagle with the 25-man rotation to carry another starter into the first week of games. That could mean a start for Ben Lively, who was favorited to land a spot in the rotation before Arrieta signed.

Perhaps the easiest solution would be to allow Mark Leiter Jr. to start in place of Arrieta in Atlanta and move him back into the bullpen.

Next: Winners/Losers of Arrieta signing

These thoughts have likely gone through the minds of Gabe Kapler and pitching coach Rick Kranitz, and they along with Arrieta likely answer that this week.