Arrieta: it was affecting my performance
Orioles starter Jake Arrieta is likely done for the season and will see Dr. Lewis Yocum on August 10th to examine the fibrous mass –which is like a bons spur but softer — that is right above his right elbow and has been giving the right-hander pain and affecting his command.
Here’s what Arrieta had to say about the possibility of surgery, which is looking likely, and how this is different than last year when he opted to forgo the exact procedure.
[on what's been going on with the spur]
“I kind of knew at some point this might come up. I’ve been really battling this for most of the year. [I've] done as best job as I can to manage it with treatment, taken some anti-inflammatories, but it’s come to a point where it’s really affecting the way I pitch. And I feel like I’m potentially putting myself at risk for a more serious injury if I don’t have it looked at a little bit more seriously.
And where it’s at now, it’s a pretty minor issue. So, if Yocum says that we need to get it out so you can go ahead and be 100 percent from the first inning to however many innings you are out there, the first to eighth inning, then that’s what we want to do.”
[so strong chance you will have surgery?]
“I don’t know if it’s 100 percent, but there’s a good chance I have it done. I just want to be able to take the mound every fifth day and not worry about having that feeling in the fifth, sixth inning, which I’ve had a number of times this year. I’ve pitched with soreness, I’ve pitched hurt, but I think it’s on the borderline of being injured. And I don’t want to put my career at risk with a more serious injury. That’s why I really want to have it looked at and have [Yocum] give me his opinion. And kind of go from there.”
[on how it affects him]
“On a more simplistic level, it’s a pretty good size mass of bone in my elbow and every time the joint tries to close, that bone just jams. So trying to throw 95, 96 miles an hour makes it very difficult.”
[on potentially removing the mass] It’s not in atypical spot where most guys have their bone spur, [it's higher up].
[Surgery is] a lot less risk with where mine’s at and I feel pretty good about it. I know that if I do have it done, I’m going to have a normal offseason, normal throwing program, normal workout schedule and be back in Spring Training ready to toe the rubber just like I was this year.
[Did it get worse this season? Why now?]
In the sixth inning [on Sunday] I went out there and had no feel with where the ball was going. Velocity dropped about five miles an hour. Just really it was very frustrating that it’s gotten to this point.
Last year, it was manageable, stuff wasn’t drastically affected, but this year as I go deeper into the game I really lose feel of my pitches. And it affects my performance. I’m confident that if we do have it done, I’ll come in next season 100 percent, my performance won’t be affected.
I don’t want to blame some of my starts or some of my innings where I’ve given up runs on my elbow but I definitely attribute a lot of that to this.”