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Jake Arrieta

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Jacob Joseph Arrieta

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jake Arrieta appeared in the Olympics before making his major league debut in 2010.

[edit] Amateur Career

Arrieta was 6-1 with a 1.61 ERA as a high school junior and had a 5-4, 1.30 record as a senior. The Cincinnati Reds chose him in the 31st round of the 2004 amateur draft but he opted for college. He went 6-2 with a 3.43 ERA as a freshman at Weatherford junior college. The Milwaukee Brewers picked him in the 26th round of the 2005 amateur draft. He spent the summer with the McKinney Marshalls and had a 1.87 ERA, going 4-3 with 38 hits allowed in 62 2/3 IP. Baseball America rated him one of the top 10 prospects in the Texas Collegiate League. Transferring to Texas Christian University for his sophomore season, he went 14-4 with a 2.35 ERA. He tied Lauren Gagnier for the NCAA Division I lead in victories. He was second in the Mountain West Conference in ERA, .11 behind Danny Herrera. Arrieta and Herrera split MWC Pitcher of the Year honors. Arrieta was named a second-team All-American by Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Arrieta joined Team USA in 2006, the first TCU player ever selected. He went 4-0 with a 0.27 ERA, giving up only 10 hits in 35 innings (but walking a team-high 23). Only David Price was relied on to pitch more innings for the team. Arrieta shut out Taiwan, Nevada and the Czech Republic. He helped the US win the 2006 World University Championship.

In 2007, the junior posted a 9-3, 3.01 record and led the MWC with 93 strikeouts. He was second to Jesse Craig in ERA. Arrieta was named to the All-Conference team. The Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the 5th round of the 2007 amateur draft. He signed with scout Jim Richardson for a $1.1 million signing bonus, a record for a 5th-round pick.

[edit] Minor League Career

Arrieta signed too late to debut in the minors in 2007. Instead, he made his pro debut in winter ball, tossing 16 scoreless innings for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, allowing 8 hits and 7 walks while striking out 16; he was 1-0 in 14 games. He led the Arizona Fall League in ERA. Baseball America rated him the #14 prospect in the AFL, right after Jeff Clement; he was the third-rated pitcher after Adam Miller and Anthony Swarzak and ahead of Max Scherzer.

Arrieta made his minor league debut with the Frederick Keys. He was 5-4 with a 3.02 ERA after his first 16 starts with 91 strikeouts in 89 1/3 IP and 64 hits allowed. He made the US roster for the 2008 Futures Game. Jake pitched one game for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics, when they won Bronze. He allowed two hits in 6 scoreless innings in a win over the host Chinese national team.

[edit] Major League Career

Jake Arrieta made his major league debut with the Orioles on June 10, 2010, only two days after the much-publicized debut of his Olympic teammate Stephen Strasburg. Facing the New York Yankees, he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings to earn a rare 4-3 win for the O's. He continued to pitch well over the rest of the season, going 6-6, 4.66 in 18 starts. He earned a spot in the Orioles' starting rotation to begin the 2011 season, and continued to pitch well, matching his win total of the previous year by the end of May. He was 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in early August when the Orioles shut him down, concerned over a problem with his throwing elbow, sending him to a specialist to look at a possible season-ending injury to correct a problem caused by a fibrous mass in the articulation.

Arrieta was back in the Orioles' rotation at the start of 2012. On May 2nd, he pitched the best game of his career, by holding the New York Yankees to 5 singles over 8 innings, striking out 9 while walking none, in a 5-0 win which ended Ivan Nova's streak of consecutive wins at 15. This would prove to be the high point of Arrieta's season. In his next two appearances, the righthander gave up 6 earned runs against the Texas Rangers and 7 earned runs against the Tampa Bay Rays. A 7-inning strong start facing the Washington Nationals seemed to get him back on track, but he would yield at least 4 earned runs in 7 of his next 9 starts, only reaching the 7th inning twice. Following his 18th start of the season on July 5th against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, a second straight debacle in which he failed to get out of the 4th inning, Arrieta was demoted to the minor leagues. His ERA had ballooned to 6.13 and his record on the season stood at 3-9. He came back in September and pitched six times in relief, but things did not go much better, as his ERA was 6.75 in 13 1/3 innings, and he ended the season with an ERA of 6.20. To no one's surprise, he was left off the Orioles' postseason roster.

Arrieta was back with the Birds at the start of the 2013 season, but his problems continued. After 4 starts, his record stood at 1-1, but with an ERA of 6.63, and the 16 walks he had already issued in 19 innings were the most in the American League at that point. On April 22nd, the Orioles demoted him to the AAA Norfolk Tides for the second straight year, hoping that he would manage to find his groove back. He went 3-3, 5.50 in 7 games at Norfolk, but issued only 10 walks in 36 innings. The Orioles called him back on June 14th, originally with the idea of using him on the bullpen, but then turned around and gave him a start on June 17th, in place of an ailing Jason Hammel; he gave up 5 runs on 10 hits to the Detroit Tigers in 4 2/3 innings, was charged with the 5-1 loss and after the game was sent back to Norfolk. On July 2nd, the Orioles traded him to the Chicago Cubs along with Pedro Strop in return for starter Scott Feldman. After spending some time in the minors, he had a very good debut for the Cubs, giving up only 1 run on 2 hits in 6 innings in the second game of a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 30th. He had been added to the roster just for that game, but then came back for real on August 16th and had another excellent outing, this time against the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched 7 shutout innings and was credited with his first National League win as the Cubs won, 7-0.

Arrieta had the best start of his career for the Cubs on June 24, 2014, when he retired the first 18 batters he faced in defeating the Cincinnati Reds, 7-3. He gave up 2 runs and struck out 9 over 7 innings to improve to 4-1 on the season. In his next start, against the Boston Red Sox on June 30th, he carried a no-hitter into the 8th inning before Stephen Drew ended his bid with a two-out single. He left at that point, but relievers Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon completed a two-hit 2-0 combined shutout.

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