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.
Over 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.