He last pitched for the Orioles on April 21, but today Jake Arrieta has rejoined the club and is expected for now to be available out of the bullpen, as Jair Jurrjens starts here this afternoon against Tampa Bay.
Arrieta was scheduled to start for Triple-A Norfolk tonight and had a recent start pushed back due to a shoulder issue, which he feels is no longer a problem.
“I developed a little stiffness a few starts ago,” Arrieta said. “It is something that has been manageable. They pushed me back a few days. I’ve stayed on top of it as much as I can.
“Flexibility and mobility, those are the two main things that are my focus to keep the shoulder feeling the way it is right now. I look forward to the shoulder to continue to progress and get to 100 percent, but I definitely feel a lot better than I did a few days ago.”
Arrieta went 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA in three starts for the Tides. Over 19 2/3 innings, he walked just three and fanned 17. But his last start was May 7, so it’s been a while since he has been on the mound.
Arrieta said he threw two side sessions this week with Norfolk on Wednesday and Thursday, throwing about 45 pitches in the first bullpen and 25 in the second.
“The day after those, I felt better than the I did the day before,” he said.
He was 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA in four starts for the Orioles before being optioned out to Triple-A. He feels confident he made some changes for the better while in the minors.
“Absolutely, and sometimes that is what it takes. What I did is started to take the emotions out of it,” he said. “For me, when I would get into high-stress situations, where you needed to make quality pitches, I allowed anger or over-aggression, those sort of emotions to come into the picture. I tried to do more than I needed to. I went down there and really relaxed and took the emotion completely out of it. That translated into pretty solid results and throwing more strikes.”
So Arrieta’s struggles were not at all about mechanics or delivery adjustments, he said.
“Mechanics hasn’t been the issue for a long time. My mechanics are very quality and I think Rick Adair feels the same way, we’ve had those talks. It’s about putting the right mindset into play.
“It really feels good to be back in this clubhouse. A lot of these guys reached out to me when I was optioned. They felt for me but that is part of the process. If you have struggles, they are going to bring a guy up here to do the job. But being back here is a great feeling,” he said.
Ironically, Arrieta doesn’t have some of his gear today. It seems his bags were on the team bus when it left for Durham.
“The team was about to head to Durham. All my stuff was on the bus, so I’m here without anything. Hopefully I have enough stuff to wear for tonight. Got the call around midnight last night,” he said.