Phillies right-hander Jake Arrieta has spent a large portion of the season trying to pitch through a bone spur in his elbow. Now, though, the pain could force him to the operating table.
After the Phillies’ loss to the Giants on Sunday, Arrieta told Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia and other reporters that his elbow “hurts every day.” On whether he’ll continue working through the issue, Arrieta said: “I don’t necessarily want to make a decision right now. We’ll have the off day Monday and maybe have a conversation on Tuesday.”
Arrieta’s elbow problems would seem to at least partially explain the former Cy Young winner’s severe drop-off this season. The 33-year-old turned in another poor performance Sunday, yielding five earned runs on seven hits in three frames, and hasn’t recorded the definition of a quality start (at least six innings, three earned runs or fewer) since June 19. Arrieta’s struggles have led to a 4.64 ERA/4.89 FIP over 135 2/3 innings in a season that has become increasingly disappointing for the Phillies.
On the heels of an ultra-aggressive winter, Philadelphia opened the campaign with National League East title aspirations. The club delivered early, sitting nine games over .500 as recently as June 9, but it’s now a mediocre 60-58. While the Phillies are still a manageable two games behind a wild-card spot, they’re nine back in the NL East, where they sit in fourth place.
It’s clear the Phillies’ starting staff is among the primary reasons they’ve essentially tread water to this point. Aside from Aaron Nola, no starter they’ve consistently trotted out has been all that effective. Even Nola’s aggregate production has fallen off from 2017-18. But there’s no bigger letdown in the bunch than Arrieta, whose days as a front-end starter have appeared over throughout his time with the Phillies.
Since inking a three-year, $75MM contract entering 2018, Arrieta has given the Phillies 308 1/3 innings of 4.26 ERA/4.53 FIP ball. The ex-Cub’s deal gives him the ability to opt out after this season, but thanks to his middling output and injury situation, that isn’t going to happen. Likewise, the Phillies aren’t going to exercise an option that would add two years and $40MM to the pact. As a result, Arrieta will earn $20MM in 2020, which seems likely to wind up as his last season with the Phillies.
Sounds like he should have the surgery. The last thing you want is for him to try to reduce pain by altering his delivery, potentially causing more injury. Bad contract, but at the time it was signed, given the shorter duration, the risk for the Phillies didn’t seem that apparent.
This guy was a stud in his prime. I hope he elects to have surgery and makes a comeback somewhat close to his former glory.
Well that is one of the few correct decisions Theo made concerning free agents and specifically pitchers.
I mean, Jake literally priced himself out of the Cubs with that ridiculous Sherzer contract comp. Theo didn’t have to do much. If they had the money they would’ve paid him.
They had the money, they gave it to Darvish instead. First year was a bust for that but 4 or 5 out of 6 years would be better than Arrieta only getting the one decent year the Phillies got last year.
Not really. Instead of signing Arrieta, they signed Darvish which is arguably worse.
My thoughts exactly.
Darvish > Arrieta at this point.
Jake is done.
Was it? He signed Darvish instead.
How long is the recovery time for that surgery?
I do hope they replace him with Suarez. as good as Suarez is been out if the pen, he could contribute more as a starter.
I credit Arrieta with trying to gut it out but this team is cooked. Get the surgery and see you next year.
They’re literally 1 game back of a playoff spot right now. How many of the teams that are currently leading the wild card and division races looked “cooked” at some point this year and since rebounded?
the eye test, the rotation and the injured list have caused 99% of Phils fans to reach the logical conclusion that this is not a wild card contender, regardless of the standings.
The Phillies haven’t put together a decent stretch since June. They have a losing record post all-star break. Their run differential is negative 33. Their placement in the wildcard race is actually deceiving. They’ve been on a steady decline since the end of June. Keep in mind they were in 1st place in the division for a decent stretch. Now they’re 4th. They’ve lost 3 series in a row, all teams with weaker records than they have. They’ve scored the fewest runs in the NL post all-star break. The team is actually worse than their record shows.
There is absolute no reason to believe a rebound is inorder. No one expected this amazing run by the Mets, but there were signs that showed the team was better than their record showed. The Phillies are showing nothing and have problems in every area.
Arrieta is a big-time competitor, and he has my respect, but I think it’s time. He looks like he’s in agony every start and is limited in his pitch selection. The entire season was a mess for the Phillies and their place in the standings is misleading; they’re actually much worse than their record shows. Get the surgery. Maybe you’ll be able to contribute a little next year. Maybe not. But at the end of the day, pitching through the pain isn’t working.
You’re right. At this point, Jake should get the surgery and be ready to go. Having him at 100% and a healthy Cuctch back in April will be like landing two FA again.
Let’s face it, the Phillies (with play since June) are not going to be in the Wild Card picture this time next week. Might as well throw some young arms out there and see what they have for 2020, as disappointing as that sounds.
Darvish 20th k , 30th whip, 11th batting average against. He is trending up.
Should’ve gone for surgery. Could’ve had a great season. Would’ve been back right now.
Folty is going through the same thing
Folty stinks what a step back this year
He needs to have the surgery right now. He not helping himself or the team win ballgames And pitching in pain. He need needs to be shut down
& get healthy for next season.
I agree. He’s been trying to tough it out, but the fact that he’s going to have a conversation about the elbow on Tuesday is big.
They need to shut him down now and give the elbow the max heel time before the 2020 season. Put Ranger Suarez in the rotation and have him finish out the year.
The Phillies and Jake are in a tough spot, the recovery period is the Key. I’m unaware of the prognosis, I imagine it’s a gray area as well. I’m a fan of Jake, he’s helped me win Chips (Fantasy), but he’ll be benched on my team until he’s pitching better. I wish him luck and health for he already has the money.
Arrieta is yet another example of the dangers in spending big FA money for aging players – especially pitchers. I sure hope the next CBA takes drastic steps to front-load players’ earning power, because the answer is not in rekindling the overpayment of aging assets.
I was going to say something similar. His velocity was in decline. His K/W was in decline, though not bad. WAR was in decline. IPs was in decline.
I understanding a slight overpay for a shorter duration, but $75M/3 feels like a salary for a really good pitcher.
The Phillies were able to afford that then. I’m confident that’s why they were willing to do a higher AAV. I still think it was a clever deal with the option to keep him two more years if he was still performing well enough.
A lot of posters seem to recommend surgery. What i don’t see is the time frame upon which to make the recommendation, or a prognosis on future harm if he continues to pitch.
I’m not sure why anyone would make such a recommendation without that information.
It’s season-ending surgery this late in the year, it’s been posted about several times on mlbtraderumors so those recommending it probably have read that already. He’d be back in the Spring. He had the same surgery with the O’s in 2011.
Toughing it out is admirable, and he has my respect. But in the big picture he’s hurting himself and the team. Better to get it fixed and come back with a fresh outlook next year. Besides let’s face it, team is not a playoff contender with poor pitching and under achieving hitters.
With that beard, we should call him Jake Hairietta
Hmmm he sucked before he went to the cubs. Got juiced. Was dominate then hopped off the juice and left town. Now he’s back to Baltimore Jake.