The desperate situation regarding the San Diego Padres starting rotation finally reached a limit and led to the Padres signing veteran right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta.
The Padres entered the year with a rotation of Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Chris Paddack, and Adrián Morejón, with Dinelson Lamet returning from injury shortly after the season began. There were a lot of talks about how this could be one of the best rotations entering the year, and it started off strong.
However, as the season has gone on, injuries have accumulated, and the rotation currently only features a healthy Snell, Musgrove, and Ryan Weathers. Snell has struggled for most of the season, and Weathers is currently in a rough stretch of outings, so the Padres rotation is barely holding on.
All of that is the reason that the Padres are signing Jake Arrieta, a starter who featured a 6.88 ERA and a 1.761 WHIP this season with the Chicago Cubs. It is a very sub-optimal signing given Arrieta’s recent performances, but one that might be necessary if the Padres want to hold off the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League wild-card race.
What Arrieta does provide is another veteran presence in the clubhouse and a pitcher who is no rookie to playoff stretches. In Arrieta’s first stint with the Cubs that dates from 2013 through 2017, he was a vital part in bring winning baseball back to Chicago and even won a Cy Young Award in 2015 after a dominant second half of the season.
Now, the Padres are hoping that a second chance this year can recalibrate Arrieta and push the Padres to the postseason, or at least until Yu Darvish and Chris Paddack return from their injuries.
Arrieta no longer throws 95 mph with a wipeout slider and curveball. His sinker now hovers just north of 90 mph that he uses 54% of the time. He uses a slider as the primary off-speed pitch, averaging 88 mph with a 23% usage rate.
The Padres announced that his signing is on a minor league deal, and they are hoping to start Arrieta on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies.