Cubs Arietta Not Ready For Ace Label

Cubs Arietta Not Ready For Ace Label

Some of the morning storylines today are portraying Jake Arietta as your Cubs new ace.

Don't bet on that.

Don't get me wrong, Arietta is clearly the best arm currently residing on the Cubs staff. However, moving forward, I don't think the brass would feel very secure about going into a higher-stakes setting with Arietta as their number one pitcher.

The Cubs will undoubtedly make a huge play soon for free agent ace Jon Lester.

There may even be some overtures towards James Shields, and a trade is always possible. But, as I have stated before, don't look for the club to get involved with Max Scherzer. The outrageous price tag, particularly when coupled with some supposed murky medicals, apparently has the Cubs apprehensive.

Now, if the Cubs are to land a clear-cut ace type like Lester, the rotation could fall into place here quite quickly.

Imagine a rotation of Lester, followed by Arrieta at number 2, a more realistic fit for him, then some semblance of Travis Wood, Kyle Hendricks, and other candidates such as Dan Straily or Felix Doubront. Let us not forget about Edwin Jackson, sorry.

I'm often asked about the Cubs' starting pitching moving forward. I continue to profess my supreme confidence that this front office can add another quality arm at a bargain, much like a Jason Hammel or Scott Feldman, to round out the rotation.

Then there is the latest wildcard in Jacob Turner. If the Cubs can rehab the big-armed Turner via pitching doctor Chris Bosio, things on the pitching front could be meshing quite well together with a plethora of young bats. Cubs president Theo Epstein knows he needs a rotation anchor, yet he also realizes Arrieta is a factor near the top regardless.

“Whether we develop one from an unlikely spot like Jake Arrieta or acquire someone who’s already at those heights remains to be seen,” Epstein said recently.

Arrieta was once an Opening Day starter for the Orioles. He has the pedigree to be special.

"It’s a position I’ve kind of been in in the past,” Arrieta said. “I relish that opportunity. It’s important for our ballclub and for every ballclub.”

However, the Cubs are fortunate enough to be getting top-of-the-rotation performances out of the man once considered a failed top prospect. I wouldn't want to push that luck and try to put the added pressure of carrying a staff on him yet. I'm just glad to see Arrieta bouce back from his dismal performance in Coloroado, which I suspected was simply an aberration.

For now, if Arrieta has to be the de facto ace, so be it. But when it comes time to compete, one would figure the Cubs brass will want to slide him back a slot in their deck of cards.


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  • I believe Baseball should redefine "Ace" me, and Ace is a pitcher who ......

    Leads your team in many pitching departments.......innings, strike outs, ERA, WHIP, and hopefully wins......

    Ace should have multiple pitching awards and All Star appearances, and be in the playoffs often......if they also have a hot looking Super Model, that will help.......

    this "Ace" should be able to win games against pitchers whose names end in Kershaw, Lester, Hernandez, Sale, Price, Wainwright, etc..........and when it really counts, the big games during playoff time.

    When I think of the old days, "Aces' to me were Gibson, Seaver, Carlton, Ryan, Hunter, Richard, Jenkins, Blue, Palmer, ......and to the older crowd.......Koufax, Feller, Ford, Hubbell..........most of the young crowd will remember Maddux, Johnson, Pettitte Glavine, Martinez as "Aces"........

    The Cubs do not have an "Ace"..........please, I do not want to hear that Samardzija was an "Ace"........I could think a few "Aces" the Cubs had.......Jenkins, Reuschel (Rick.....not Paul), Sutcliffe for a short time.....and Maddux.......sorry, both Wood & Prior were not "Aces" due too many injuries.

    If the Cubs get to sign Lester, don't expect playoffs in 2015......if Price comes here in 2016........we can start printing playoff tickets.


    that should do it !

  • I should include not only lead the team in pitching stat categories, but also in the league to be consider to be an "Ace".

  • Like with Samardzija before him, I agree it is way too premature to call Arrieta an ace. He's yet to pitch 180 innings in a season. Yet to win more than 10. Heck, he's only won 30 in his whole career.

  • arrieta's stuff is beyond shark's. if he can "turn it on" the way shark showed a propensity for, then arrieta will become a tremendously valuable component of a rsoter built to consistently contend for titles.

    could care less what he's called, but agree the term "ace" is largely misused by the media and fans, in general.

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    In all honesty, I just love how comfortable Arrieta and Hendricks makes our guys nice and comfy on defense. Castro looks so good tonight, I wasn't sure it was really him.
    You gotta think it makes them more comfortable on offense, considering they actually had a lead, instead of trailing after the 1st, like usual.
    Just one more thing Tom. Please tell me you know someone who can tell Edwin Jackson to stop throwing 95mph fastballs, that look like it came out of a tube. Pitching coaches need to change his grip on his fastball or something. It really is getting old seeing guys tee up.

  • Tom - with the raw numbers of potential SP's we have, whether they be reclamation projects like Doubrant or Turner, prospects like CJ Edwards, or more established guys like Wood, feels like we'd have the chips available if a seller this winter or next deadline wanted to unload an expensive TOR SP but had to get cost-controlled pitching back?

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