Phillies

Gabe Kapler updates the Jake Arrieta injury situation

Gabe Kapler updates the Jake Arrieta injury situation

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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Phillies schedule: Phils-Braves postponed because of inclement weather, doubleheader Sunday

Phillies schedule: Phils-Braves postponed because of inclement weather, doubleheader Sunday

Friday night's series opener between the Phillies and Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park has been rained out.

It was a "quick bang" as they say in the baseball business, no waiting around for the bad weather to clear out. That's part of the health and safety protocol for the COVID-impacted 2020 season. Major League Baseball does not want players and staff sitting around for long periods of time in enclosed areas like a clubhouse.

The postponement will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Game 2 begins 40 minutes after Game 1 ends. The Phillies have 53 games remaining on their schedule and six of them will be played as part of doubleheaders. They already played a doubleheader Wednesday night, splitting with the New York Yankees.

Jake Arrieta will start for the Phillies Saturday against the Braves. Vince Velasquez will start one of the games of the doubleheader Sunday. The starter for the other game is still TBA. The Phils could promote prospect Spencer Howard to make the start. More on that as it becomes available.

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Phillies Talk podcast: Massive early-season Phillies-Braves series on tap

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Phillies Talk podcast: Massive early-season Phillies-Braves series on tap

The Phillies will play 40% of their games against the Braves over the next four days, making this a massive early-season NL East series.

Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss that and more on the latest Phillies Talk podcast.

• How do Phils and Braves match up in 2020?

• How often can the Phillies' bullpen do what it did in series finale vs. Yankees?

• They're lucky to have Hector Neris.

• Starting pitching has been good so far — particularly Zack Wheeler.

• Phillies quietly Top 6 in on-base percentage and slugging.

• Phillies bound for regression one way or the other.

• Yankees complaints.

• J.T. owes the fans a pizza.

• Will we hear the air horn every game now?

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