Arrieta Shows Poise

Promising right-hander Jake Arrieta continued his solid spring with another good start in yesterday’s 8-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. His victory leaves him 2-0 in three starts this spring with an ERA of 4.00. While he’s gotten himself into situations where he’s had to work with runners on base, as evidence by his 13 hits allowed in 9 innings so far, he’s done a solid job of maintaining his composure and working out of situations, a trait that you see more from established veterans and not someone with his relative inexperience at the major league level. He’s also done good job minimizing walks, only allowing two, which as helped to aid in his damage control.

Yesterday’s outing was much of the same. He gave up 8 hits in 4 innings, but since he picked up the win I feel obligated to say those hits were “scattered”. On the impressive side he struck out 6 with an no walks. Despite the high hit total, the most runs he gave up in an inning was one, once in the second inning and once in the fourth. Arrieta was noticeably upbeat and positive after the outing and was quoted as saying,  “A ton of strikes. I felt comfortable with all my pitches, my depth on the breaking ball was very good, same thing with the slider. My changeup is coming along. I don’t think I could be happier with the progress up to this point.”

Buck Showalter, being the perfectionist he always is, wasn’t quite as complimentary with this post game comments. He said the Jake was “up with a few pitches” and that he had “seen him alot better”. He went on to say that for his next start he would let Arrieta go 5 innings and see how that goes. I like the approach by Showalter and his motto of always trying to improve and never being completely satisfied is exactly what the O’s need and especially this young pitching staff.

It will be fun to watch the season unfold and follow one of the Oriole’s more highly touted pitching prospects begin his journey through the major leagues in his first full season with the club. As with any young pitcher he’s a work in progress and there will be bad starts. But the future certainly looks bright when you can see that he’s not just relying on pure physical ability, but thinking his way through situations. I’m looking forward to heading down to Camden Yards to get an upclose look for sure.

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