Arrieta on his outing

Jake Arrieta got his final spring tune-up Saturday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates split-squad. Arrieta, who is heavily speculated to be the team’s Opening Day starter, allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings.

“Some misses were up, yeah. I was pulling a couple of pitches out of the zone, but mechanically my body feels great,” said Arrieta who also struck out five and allowed a pair of solo homers.  “Out of the stretch I felt really good and was able to command the ball and still be quick to the plate. So that was really all I was trying to do today.”

The 26-year-old Arrieta lines up to start Friday April 6 on an extra day of rest, although manager Buck Showalter has not officially announced who will pitch the season opener. Asked if he knew he was pitching next, Arrieta said hopefully he would find out on Sunday.

Arrieta ends spring with 14 2/3 official innings (he also recorded 16 outs in a Minor League game) over four starts, having allowed 11 earned runs on 17 hits and four walks. He struck out 12 and finishes with a 6.75 ERA and confident he’s ready to start the season.

“All of my pitches are pretty crisp besides the changeup,” Arrieta said. “Still have to work on that but if I can just keep that pitch down and throw it when I’m ahead in the count I’ll still have success with it. But still need to work on that a little bit but, mechanically with nobody on and runners on base I feel great and that’s really what I wanted to get out of spring.”


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