Arrieta Scuffles (Updated)

Jake Arrieta hasn’t look particularly comfortable in both of his
Spring Training outings this year.  On Tuesday vs the Rays, he allowed
three runs on two hits and a walk in the top of the sixth inning,
raising his spring ERA to 9.00.

In his debut on March 5 he
allowed a walk on a hit and two walks in the Orioles 5-3 loss to the
Pirates.Considered the Orioles top pitching prospect (outside of
Matusz and Tillman, who will be in the rotation) Arrieta struggled when
he got his Triple-A promotion last year.

He looked good in the
team’s intrasquad game and had been having some good bullpens prior to
that.

I asked Orioles manager Dave Trembley after Tuesday’s game what he’s seeing from Arrieta and Trembley thinks its a case where the young right-hander is trying to force it.

“I think he tries to overthrow somewhat,” Trembley said. “He’s got a very good arm, he keeps the ball down for the most part, but I think he needs to trust himself a little bit more and trust the stuff that he has.”

“And I think that, more than anything, is a process of maturity. Pitchers that are here, young guys, want to make the club. Every pitch seems like it’s life and death for them, and sometimes they probably would be better off backing off a little.”

When I told Arrieta about Trembley’s comments, he agreed that was mostly the case. Arrieta, who turned 24 on Saturday, said he’s been trying to impress the Orioles with every pitch and when he looked back at the video tape from the Pirates game he noted that he was frequently working from behind in the count.

“I had a lot of adrenaline going,” Arrieta said of the his spring debut. “It’s just tough when you get out there, you kind of get under the lights and you’re feeling good. And  I was just overthrowing.”

“It’s Spring Training and things are going to get better. Once I get more innings in and start to start games I’ll get a little bit more comfortable. Sometimes its hard to not do too much, you want to impress guys. I need to realize that I don’t necessarily have to do that. I just have to get my work in. And I’m confident that things will turn around.”

Arrieta didn’t want to make any excuses for Tuesday’s performance, but he had a rough night on Monday when his six-month boxer swallowed one of his toys. Arrieta said the puppy was in surgery on Tuesday afternoon and he was getting updates from his wife. So, let’s hope all went well there.

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