Jake Arrieta: “Maybe have a Conversation Tuesday”
Jake Arrieta told reporters after Sunday's start against the Giants that he's unsure if he's healthy enough to continue pitching the rest of this season.
Arrieta, 33, has been pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow, and said following his latest outing that intends to take today's off-day to think it over and then "maybe have a conversation Tuesday" about what to do moving forward.
One major issue is, the organization simply doesn't have a better option to replace him in the rotation at this time, so they continue to trot him out there - even though over his last 10 starts he has a 5.02 ERA with a hitting .302 against him over that time.
But one option for this team could have been to use him out of the bullpen.
The bullpen has been a issue most of the season, while Arrieta doesn't have a lot of experience pitching out-of-the-pen, why not try to limit his usage by using him for one or two innings instead of trying to get five inning out of him. The last time Arrieta was able to get through the fifth inning of a game was back on June 30 in Miami.
Plenty of great starting pitchers have transformed their careers at the back-end of the bullpen after injuries. John Smoltz, Brett Myers, Dennis Eckersley, Tom Gordon and Kerry Wood are a few starters who moved to the pen due to arm issues.
The Phillies can't find a closer, haven't found a set-up man - why not try Arrieta and see if you can maximize what he can give you under the current circumstances - or just keep trotting him out there to get pounded for 3-4 innings per start, and tax your bullpen more and more each time he pitches.