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This doesn’t bode well: Jake Arrieta is Baltimore’s Opening Day starter

Apr 2, 2012, 6:55 PM EDT

Jake Arrieta Getty Images

“This is Birdland” – the Orioles’ 2012 slogan.

Jake Arrieta had a 5.05 ERA in 22 starts before requiring elbow surgery and missing the final two months of last season. This spring, he has a 6.14 ERA in his four starts. Incredibly, it was a good enough showing to earn him the Opening Day assignment against the Twins this year.

The Orioles didn’t announce their full rotation Monday, but they did state that Arrieta would start the opener and former Rockies right-hander Jason Hammel would go in the third game of the season. The other three rotation spots are expected to be filled by Wei-Yin Chen, Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter.

Obviously, no one from the crew really jumps out as being worthy of an Opening Day start. No one in the group has thrown as many as 180 innings in a major league season. Hunter has the best ERA of the four with major league experience, having gone 26-16 with a 4.50 ERA in a career mostly spent with the Rangers. Matusz has probably had the most impressive spring of the bunch, but he went 1-9 with a 10.69 ERA last season.

So, get ready for Arrieta versus Carl Pavano on Opening Day. It’ll count in the standings, if nothing else.

  1. dowhatifeellike - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    He’s not as bad as you make him out to be.

    • spudchukar - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      Somehow this sounds a lot more like a daughter talking to her parents about her boyfriend, than a MLB fan championing his team.

    • cosanostra71 - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      maybe but you still don’t want him as your Opening Day starter

  2. drewsylvania - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Two years ago Arrieta, Matusz, and Tillman were as strong a pitching trio as you could find in MLB. Not sure where the fault lies that none of them have panned out (yet).

    Also, why are we putting any stock in spring training stats? Scouting reports, sure, but spring training stats mean nothing.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      (prospect trio, not pitching)

    • spudchukar - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      While Spring Training stats are always to be contemplated with a discerning eye, they are not insignificant. These are still athletes competing against athletes. The win/loss categories are less indicative of a teams true strength, but on an individual basis, particularly among younger players they carry some weight.

      One thing is for sure. If you suck in Spring Training, your management is concerned, your teammates are concerned, and most importantly you are concerned.

      Total disregard for Spring Training numbers is whistling in the dark.

      • sabatimus - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:25 PM

        I totally disagree with this post on all counts.

  3. APBA Guy - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    I’ll save my usual ranting about Peter Angelos until later in the season, after he fires Buck or Duquette as a way of displacing the blame for his own appalling “stewardship” of this once-proud franchise.

    • spudchukar - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      Stated perfectly.

    • Old Gator - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      Look at it thisaway: of all the things that bode ill for the Gloryholes, Arrieta is only the second most ominous. Don’t overlook Camden Yards’ proximity to sea level in an era of accelerating global warming.

    • borninfellspoint - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:51 AM are bitter and you obviously dont remember Edward Bennet Williams or Eli Jacobs.

  4. sickcuz - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Baltimore Redskins

  5. sleepyirv - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Weaver could win with this team.

    • borninfellspoint - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:52 AM

      And so will Buck!

  6. Davidw7 - Apr 3, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Should be a fun opening day game. I don’t think it’ll be a pitchers duel. I’m a Twins fan so I’m looking forward to it.

  7. rockthered1286 - Apr 3, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    This article really does make it look worse than it is. Where’s the mention that Arrieta’s surgery was to remove a mass in his elbow that has been there since college and he’s now feeling better than ever? Or the fact this his velocity is back up where it should be? Or the fact that his ERA would be a tad lower if it weren’t for a few botched defensive plays (particularly his last start where 2 runs came in on a BEDARD BUNT). Jake is no all-star (yet) but he’s substantially better than this article makes him out to be.

  8. jasonc2300 - Apr 3, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    And Jon Heyman makes a mental note for his future “Jake Arrieta is a Hall of Famer” article…

  9. randomdigits - Apr 6, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    You guys sure were on the money with this one!

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