Arrieta on winning the rotation spot

The Orioles moved one step closer to their Opening Day roster on Friday officially naming Jake Arrieta for the final rotation spot and putting Brian Matusz in the bullpen. Jair Jurrjens is expected to start for Triple-A Norfolk with a pending decision on right-hander Steve Johnson, who is expected to start the season on the disabled list.

Here’s what Jake Arrieta had to say after he was informed he was making the team…

[on if he ever had any doubt that he would make the team] “No, absolutely not. Whether that’s cockiness or overconfidence, whatever you want to call it. that’s just the way that I personally had to approach the situation, with that mindset. knowing that i had to go out and actually show it and not just know it in my mind. I think the combination of having that mindset and knowing I had to kind of prove myself helped me get to the point where I am now.”

[on if last year’s failures made him stronger] “100 percent. A lot of the things I went through last year, and even years prior, have helped me grow and turn into the person and player I am right now. I’ve told a lot of guys, that I’m not where I want to be. I’m still trying to get to that point, as all of us are as players. We are always learning and always trying to evolve and try to take our game to the next level even though we are at the highest level. Failure is a big part of this game and if you can’t find ways to turn that into positives, you are going to have a hard time continuing to develop as a person and as a player. So I’m fortunate and I’m thankful for everybody who has helped me along the way.”

[on if he knew there was only one rotation spot up for grabs heading into camp] “I knew there were going to be spots already locked up based on the way guys pitched last year and rightfully so. Guys have earned that. And I just knew coming in that I had a lot to prove. And I had the same mindset pretty much every year, proving myself and showing I belong. And regardless of if I’m Opening Day starter or the fifth starter I still want to prove that I belong and earn my spot.”

[on his reaction to making the team] “A couple things really. I’m much more focused and much better prepared this time around, Not that I wasn’t prepared or (didn’t have) focus going into this last season. But I think my preparation and focus is a little bit more fine-tuned. And now I am in this position and am ready to take the bull by the horns so to speak and keep my job all year. I think that’s what everybody wants and what everybody expects from me. That’s what I plan to do.”

[on starting the home opener for the third year in a row] “It’s exciting. A lot of excitement there. It’s a big honor to pitch that first game in front of the hometown fans. I know all of Baltimore is ecstatic and very excited for that moment. It’s something that a lot of emotions will continue to come out as that moment comes near. But a big honor, very very excited for the opportunity once again to throw the opening game there for the third year in a row. So I’t a big deal and I am looking forward to it.”

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