After a rough outing against the San Francisco Giants in which he allowed seven hits and five earned runs in just three innings of work, Phillies SP Jake Arrieta is mulling undergoing an elbow procedure that would sideline him for the rest of 2019.
“I don’t necessarily want to make a decision right now,” Arrieta said Sunday after being batted around by the San Francisco Giants, per Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’ll have the off-day [Monday] and maybe have a conversation on Tuesday.” “It hurts every day,” Arrieta added of the bone spur. “I just wasn’t able to get through my share of the outing and preserve the lead.”
The former NL Cy Young Award winner has been dealing with the injury since early June but opted to pitch through the pain to help keep the Phils playoff hopes alive. To this point, the decision has done far more harm than good.
Through eight starts since suffering the injury, Arrieta has pitched just two quality starts and has really struggled with command. Despite still generating excellent movement on his pitches, they seem to fall over the heart of the plate far too often and batters are taking advantage of it in a big way. In his last seven starts (32 IP), hitters are batting .392(!) against the veteran right-hander. In other words, teams are practically producing Ted Williams numbers against Arrieta since the beginning of July.
Struggling to keep pace with the rest of the NL contenders, the Phillies simply can’t afford to be getting this type of output from their #2 starter and should seriously consider shutting Arrieta as soon as possible- whether he wants to or not. While his warrior-like mentality to play through injury is admirable, it is having an adverse effect on the team’s primary goal of winning games.
With their playoff hopes dwindling and Arrieta still due $20M next season, the Phillies, and Arrieta are better off getting him healthy now so they can have him ready for the title hunt next year.
Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports