Cubs Writer Thinks Jake Arrieta Could Be Chicago’s “Staff Ace”

I’m rooting for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. I think they both have the talent to be effective Major League arms in Chicago. If the Orioles aren’t going to win the World Series, nothing would be cooler than seeing the Cubs get there — in a few years of course.

While I hope Arrieta and Pete work out in Chicago, I thought they were a fair exchange for Scott Feldman, the Orioles current fifth starter. Feldman is 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA in Baltimore, but just turned in a 6.2 inning, 2 earned run effort in the O’s 7-2 win over the Rockies.

Jake Arrieta - Chicago CubsOver on ESPNChicago.com, Bruce Levine wrote about the Feldman deal saying it “could be classic” for the Cubs.

In Arrieta and Strop the Cubs may have found the next staff ace and closer in one deal.

Strop has worked nicely into the back end of the Cubs bullpen and Arrieta, after his second straight dominant performance on Friday, will now have time over the last quarter of the season to establish himself securely in the Cubs’ 2014 rotation. Manager Dale Sveum said Arrieta has a spot for the rest of the season.

“Staff ace” and “closer?” Hold your horses.

Arrieta has shown flashes of greatness and he’s off to a good start with Chicago, but he left Baltimore with a 5.46 career ERA over four seasons. National League hitters could help solve some of that, but he’s far too inefficient with his pitches to be a top of the rotation arm.

As for Strop, when he can find the strikezone he’s one of the best late inning relievers. He throws mid-high 90s, but can’t command his fastball consistently enough for the ninth inning.

Cubs fans should be happy if they got a number four or five starter and a reliever in the deal with Baltimore for Feldman. Expecting anything more will just set them up for disappointment.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

7 Comments

  1. Avi Miller

    August 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I remember the times that, individually, Arrieta and Strop were supposed to be the Orioles staff ace and closer eventually. Good times…

  2. Joe

    August 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    They both have good arms. That’s about all their talent. Jake the snake has a lot of issues upstairs and needed a fresh start. Maybe he will be good and maybe he will be the same 3 2/3 inning 5 runs 4 walk pitcher he always has been. Jake was really frustrating to watch because he has good stuff but hasn’t been able to harness it. Strop was lights out the first half of last year, but tired down the stretch, and this year just didn’t have good command. And he couldn’t work it out in a pennant race. Wait until he gets some pressure situations in Chicago, he might wilter.

  3. ethan

    August 20, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Baltimore screwed up Arrieta by sending him up and down every couple of months. Confidence was shattered. Strop had a good year last year and Baltimore dumped him because he couldn’t find the plate. Sounds like you’re hating a bit on that article. Sure he might not be an ace, but the guy has always had the stuff to be a really good pitcher. As for closers, they come and go. See: everyone in the majors minus Mariano Rivera.

  4. MGW

    August 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Yup, we saw flashes of that same brilliance here in Baltimore. Give it time, they’ll both settle into their roles of mediocre pitchers soon enough. Remember, Jake was the O’s opening day starter a couple of years.

  5. Pole

    August 20, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Come on MGW, wish the guys luck in their new city. Both teams got what they want so no need to throw a punch below the belt.

    • Spy

      August 20, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Agree with you Pole,,,,,,,,,,hitting below the belt is not very nice,,,,,,,,,,wish them well , I do , trades are part of the game , remember it’s just a game……………..

      • MGW

        August 20, 2013 at 10:10 am

        Sorry you felt that I was taking a shot at these guys, wasn’t my intention.

        I really like Strop and feel like he kinda got rail roaded here. Baltimore loves to place blame on relief pitchers for our team’s woes. You saw it with Mike Gonzalez, you saw it with Kevin Gregg, you’re seeing it now with Johnson.

        Wasn’t my intent to slam them, I just believe the reality is that they are “so-so” pitchers.