Cubs’ Garza has setback, to open on DL; Samardzija named Opening Day starterContinue reading.
Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta has arm setback
Right-hander Jake Arrieta, a one-time Opening Day starter for the Baltimore Orioles acquired in a trade last July, suffered shoulder “tightness” over the winter and is not expected to open the season, Cubs officials said Thursday on the eve of the first official workouts for pitchers and catchers.
“He’s feeling good right now,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We sort of restarted his throwing program, but he’s going to be a little late into camp as far as throwing bullpens and getting into games.
“No timetables yet, but he is throwing, and he is feeling good now.”
First-year manager Rick Renteria said he’s making other plans for Arrieta’s projected slot in the opening rotation.
“Were going to be cautious with him,” Renteria said. “We wouldn’t expect that he would start the season with us. We’ve got to make sure that he’s fully capable of going out and doing what he’s capable of doing.”
For now, the Cubs’ plan to bolster the weakened depth of their big-league rotation by stretching out swingman Carlos Villanueva, who filled a rotation role for the injured Matt Garza early last season.
The Cubs also made official the signings of right-handers Jason Hammel and James McDonald Thursday on one-year deals, with McDonald now taking a more significant place in the potential big-league picture.
“[Arrieta’s injury] was certainly something that was in the back of our mind as we went through this and added some pitching depth,” Hoyer said.
Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson and Hammel all are locked into the rotation, barring more injuries.
Hammel, Baltimore’s Opening Day starter last season, gets $6 million as this year’s Paul Maholm-Scott Feldman-like flip candidate. McDonald, who has battled injuries in recent years, was signed for $1 million plus.