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Renteria: No shutdown plans for Cubs ace Jake Arrieta
NEW YORK — A day after Cubs manager Rick Renteria blind-sided his best pitcher by suggesting to media that Jake Arrieta might get shut down before the end of the season, Renteria on Monday reversed course.
“We have no plans to shut him down,” he said. “That’s something we’re not considering.”
Renteria said he’s not sure why Sunday’s comments were interpreted by all four beat writers as suggesting a possible shutdown plan.
“I don’t recall being asked if he was being shut down. Maybe I’m wrong,” he said.
In fact, he was asked first, generally, about the late-season status of Arrieta, who opened the season on the disabled list because of a sore shoulder, partially in the context of the team’s desire to find starts for three recently acquired pitchers down the stretch.
After responding by saying, “we’re still monitoring everybody and trying to make sure we don’t put them in any peril,” Renteria then was asked specifically about whether Arrieta might be shut down at some point.
He closed a lengthy response to that with: “We’ll just continue to assess and evaluate and make that determination was we continue to move forward.”
Arrieta, who pitched seven scoreless innings Sunday against the Mets to lower his ERA to 2.61, seemed caught off guard by the suggestion after the game.
Arrieta, whose 2010 pro career high is 173 1/3 innings, has shown no signs of fatigue or other problems with the shoulder through 19 starts (117 1/3 innings), and both the pitcher and manager say that’s not a concern.
Whether Arrieta and/or others in the rotation get pushed back or even skipped to get newcomers a look, Renteria was emphatic about the intention to keep Arrieta pitching through September.
“We’re not shutting him down. Were not looking at shutting him down. We haven’t talked about shutting him down,” he said.