The bone spur in Jake Arrieta's elbow will not force him to the injured list, at least not yet. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler confirmed on 94.1 WIP Wednesday morning that Arrieta will start against the Nationals this weekend.
"Jake's elbow is limiting his ability to get into certain positions, so to some degree, yes," Kapler said, when asked if the bone spur is a reason for Arrieta's struggles.
"He's having a harder time getting extended the way he normally does, especially on that curveball. This is limiting his ability to throw the ball where he wants to throw it. All of that said, Jake is a competitor. And for the Phillies, it's always worth considering if Jake at 85 percent of himself is a better option than what we have at Triple A.
"And, finally, I think this is an important note in answering this question: It's not terribly uncommon for veteran pitchers to successfully pitch with issues like this one. So, as of now, Jake will make his start against the Nationals and we're going to support him."
Kapler confirmed Arrieta will have scans done on his elbow, but said Arrieta's next start will give the Phillies their best indication of his long-term availability this season.
Arrieta admitted after struggling against the Mets last week that he has been fighting himself on the mound lately. In that game, he uncharacteristically hit three batters with changeups and just didn't seem to know where the ball was going.
Injury or not, Arrieta has not lived up to expectations and has been worse in Year 2 as a Phillie than he was in 2018.
In 18 starts this season, Arrieta is 8-7 with a 4.67 ERA, an ugly 1.46 WHIP (which increases to 1.52 if you include the hit batsmen) and his highest home run rate since 2011.
Over his last seven starts, Arrieta has a 6.63 ERA and his opponents have hit .329 with a .960 OPS. He was a big key to the Phillies' season and his inability to be even a No. 3 starter has been damaging to their rotation. It has created a situation where the Phillies can truly feel comfortably only on days Aaron Nola or Zach Eflin (for the most part) pitches.
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