I don't know about you, but I would really like to see something I could sink my teeth into for the second half, something homemade like a great Italian pasta. Throw in some shredded beef, powered by a hot and spicy tomato sauce--Now that's making me hungry for a real winning combination.
But in case you're not into the Little Italy thing, lets talk about the Orioles serving up a real good entree called Jake Arrieta.
Here's a guy I have really been watching for a long time. He has all the ingredients of a real Ace for a pitching staff.
He is big and strong at 6'4"-225 pounds and he has a great arm and all the pitches you need.
His fastball is in the mid to upper 90s with a good slider/curve combination and the change-up to boot.
Above and beyond all the tools, I think he has the desire to be the leader of the staff and the focal point of the rotation. He wants to pitch deep into games and take the responsibility of the outcome. Basically, he wants the win.
I'm watching the numbers and I like what I see--83 innings pitched with fewer hits at 67, 30 walks versus 90 strikeouts. There's the 3 to 1 ratio I look for. His ERA is 2.7-ish and he has a winning record at 7 and 5. The record doesn't seem all that good but you have to remember that defenses are a big factor in the minor leagues and the playing surfaces aren't as good either.
If you want to combine his pro career so far, lets look at the overall numbers: 13 and 10 with an ERA of 2.8-ish or better, 196 innings with only 147 hits (less than his innings pitched by 49 hits), 210 strikeouts vs. 81 walks.
Everything tells me he is way on track to be an impact guy. There is a lot he needs to learn and adjust to, but I also think he will be like Adam Jones and adjust a lot quicker than we think.
He is now 23 years old and very well developed and I would love to see him here before we get to the last monthof the season. I also think he can handle it physically far better than most because of his strength level. He's a horse and I'm ready to saddle him up soon. Btw yes, he is Italian and he'll certainly owe me a great dinner after this kind of endorsement. LOL.