Arrieta shut down, will remove spur
BALTIMORE– Rookie starter Jake Arrieta will not pitch again for the rest of the season and is tentatively scheduled to have a bone spur on his right elbow removed by team doctor Andrew Cosgarea on Wednesday , a preemptive procedure that the Orioles decided on Saturday.
“The number of innings and the bone spur [at the same time] it just worked out funny like that,” said Arrieta, who finished the season 22 2/3 innings above his previous career high. “If I didn’t have tightness in my triceps [following Tuesday's start] this wouldn’t have even been an issue, I probably wouldn’t even have this done.
If Arrieta would get another start was already 50-50 and manager Buck Showalter said the team was leaning toward shutting Arrieta down following Tuesday’s win, which put him at 173 1/3 innings. Arrieta was dealing with tightness on Wednesday and a precautionary MRI Saturday afternoon revealed no ligament damage, just the bone spur on Arrieta’s right elbow. Showalter said the team already knew about the spur, which Arrieta estimates he’s had since at least college, but the thought was if they removed it now it wouldn’t disrupt his offseason.
“There was a risk where if I don’t having it done, going into camp I’m fine, maybe May or June it starts to act up a little bit and I’d have to have something done,” Arrieta said of the spur, which has never caused him any pain, just some soreness. “I just think it’s the best route to where I don’t miss any time.”
Added Showalter:”[Arrieta's] in a real good spot inning-wise. He’s healthy. One of the first things he heard is guys taking about how good the ligament looks and everything.”
The procedure could actually help Arrieta -who went 6-6 with a 4.66 ERA in 18 starts for Baltimore -and his performance in the long run. The 24-year-old said he was told he would have an improved range of motion and could add a tick of velocity once he’s fully recovered, which is expected to be around mid-October.
“In the big pictures of things it’s not that disappointing. I would have liked to make that start [Tuesday at Boston], but if it’s going to be beneficial for my career and my future to shut it down and have this done now, then I’m all for it,” said Arrieta, who credits cleaning up his mechanics for his solid end of the season numbers.
“It’s not worth jeopardizing your future over one start.”
Asked to reflect on his rookie season, Arrieta said he would call it a success, and Showalter –who took the reins on Aug. 2 — agreed.
“You can see why people are high on him,” Showalter said of Arrieta, who tossed six scoreless innings in his final outing. “I can see why he’s had challenges at time too…he knows he’s going to come in next year. And he’s got a chance to make our club.”
Tuesday’s start at Fenway Park wil now be either long man Rick VandenHurk or Wednesday’s starter, Brad Bergesen. The O’s are already on a six-man rotation, so Bergesen wouldn’t have to pitch on short rest and Showalter said much of the order of those two depends on if VandenHurk is used in Saturday’s game or not.