Phillies 2019 season preview: Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta
How much of the old Jake Arrieta can the Phillies hope to see in 2019?
The Phillies signed Jake Arrieta midway through spring training last year to help fortify their starting rotation for the next couple of years. Just a couple of seasons removed from career renaissance that culminated with a Cy Young award with the Cubs, expectations were high for Arrieta.
Despite behind the 8-ball coming into camp a couple of weeks behind schedule, Arrieta won three of his first four games in 2018. His campaign was highlighted by a 1.82 ERA and 10 strikeouts against the Pirates at home and he was among the best pitchers in baseball early on.
Things didn’t hold up all that well for Arrieta, who finished the season with a 3.96 ERA and a 10-11 record in 31 starts.
Come to find out, Arrieta pitched a significant portion of the season with a torn meniscus, something he didn’t have fixed until the offseason. Arrieta also took heat during the season for publicly calling out his teammates after they were swept by the Giants.
Now entering the 2019 season Arrieta appears to be healthy and ready to compete as the number two starter behind Aaron Nola.
Arrieta was perfect through three innings in his spring training debut against Minnesota, and his success was linked to an adjustment to his throwing motion, moving his arm to a three-quarter slot.
Philadelphia has Arrieta signed through the 2019 season, after which Arrieta can opt-out, though that’s unlikely at this point. Arrieta has $20 million on the table for 2020 and the club has two team options worth $20 million each that will run through his late 30’s.