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Jake Arrieta has been a mess since shutting down Yankees

Jun 5, 2012, 1:20 PM EST

Arrieta throwing

Jake Arrieta shut out the Yankees for eight innings on May 2, striking nine and walking none, and it looked like the 26-year-old right-hander might finally be living up to the promise he showed as a top prospect in the Orioles’ farm system.

Instead he’s been a mess since then, going 0-5 with a 7.96 ERA in six starts. Sunday versus the Rays he failed to make it out of the fifth inning for the third time in his last five outings, leading to speculation that he might be headed for Triple-A.

Arrieta’s secondary numbers during that time aren’t nearly as hideous as his win-loss record or ERA, as he’s posted a decent 28/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings, but he’s allowed opponents to bat .330 with five homers.

There’s still time for Arrieta to get back on track and become an impact pitcher for the Orioles, but any thoughts of him developing into a top-of-the-rotation starter are rapidly disappearing and may already be gone. He’s started 52 career games and thrown 290 innings … and has a 5.03 ERA with just 6.3 strikeouts per nine frames.

  1. mybrunoblog - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    I made comments about this guy after he dominated the Yanks. Essentially I said after his 2nd and 3rd time around the league the league will catch up with him. Also the advance scouts now have a deep book on him.
    Orioles fans jumped all over me. Hate to say I told you so but…….

  2. atworkident - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Give it up for timely reporting?

    Arrieta pitched on Sunday would have though you would have bashed him Monday. Granted he did give up a grand total of two hits on Sunday so that probably wouldn’t have helped your cause. Distance makes the details irrelevant. Adam Jones tossing the ball to a fan… from center field didn’t help the cause. Nor did Tolleson touch passing a ball to Chavez in left… on a ball most infielders would have fielded (no error on the play… they had to earn the other three errors they received in that game).

  3. Detroit Michael - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    It’s too early for any side of this debate to say “I told you so.” K/IP and BB/IP are better indicators of talent over a small sampling of innings than ERA, and they aren’t horrible for Arieta. Let’s see if he can right the ship. He still seems like one of the Orioles’ five best starting pitching options right now.

    • DJ MC - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      Exactly.

      He is at 7.8 K/9 this season, and 7.3 over the last two. His walk rate fell 1.5/9 between last season and so far this season. His FIP is 1.56 runs below his ERA, and his xFIP 1.83 runs below. His WHIP has fallen with his walk rate. His BAbip over the six starts in question is .364.

      He is in a similar position to Brian Matusz earlier in the season. He isn’t getting a lot of help from his defense, and is throwing a lot of pitches (19 per inning over his past three starts) to get through fewer innings. He’s also obviously struggling mentally. Matusz looked just as bad in his first three starts, with many of the same issues; in the eight starts since the team is 6-2 when he pitches, he has a 3.33 ERA, and he hasn’t given up more then three earned runs in a game in almost a month.

      Arrieta’s likely only another poor start or two from leaving the rotation in some way (bullpen or Norfolk), especially with Zach Britton essentially ready to come off of the DL. I don’t think that is the best decision looking at the numbers, though.

      • Loose Changeup - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        Batters facing Arrieta, first 6 starts: .209 / .260 / .324
        Batters facing Arrieta, last 6 starts: .313 / .377 / .489

        Also, I haven’t done the math, but I’d bet that his walk rate correlates very well with opposing team’s success. During his last start, he was cruising, until he couldn’t find the plate, and then totally imploded.

        The O’s rotation is full of young pitchers that have lots of talent and flash brilliance at times, but for whatever reason can’t get their minds right on some days. Same with the lineup.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    The Yankees always suck against young pitchers- it’s their M.O.

    • yankeehatersaredelusional - Jun 5, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      really? Against rookie starters making their debut this year:
      Jerome Williams 2.2 IP 5 ER
      Will Smith 3.1 IP 5 ER
      Casey Crosby 3.1 IP 6 ER
      So 9.1 IP 16 ER is dominating?

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