Orioles pitcher Jake Arrieta was called up from Triple-A Norfolk yesterday to provide a fresh arm for the Orioles’ bullpen, but what if the Orioles wanted to move him permanently to the bullpen or at least temporarily give it a shot?
Arrieta is very open to that and sounds almost like he expects to see that happen.
“I’ve talked to my family and my wife about this,” Arrieta said. “I just want to have success again in the big leagues. If that is as a starter or reliever, it doesn’t matter to me. I just want to get back to throwing the ball well and contributing any way to this team winning games.
“It has been frustrating to see all the success everyone is having here and not being a bigger part of it. Absolutely, if that is where the need is, I’m extremely open to that. I just want to pitch well. I’m all for it.”
Arrieta has gone 3-3 with an ERA of 5.50 in seven games and 36 innings for Norfolk, allowing 37 hits with 10 walks, 23 strikeouts and a .263 average against.
The Orioles moved Brian Matusz to the bullpen, and he’s found success there, and Arrieta is open to a similar move.
“The big thing is just commanding the ball better,” Arrieta said. “Taking distractions out of my mind and just being able to go out there and pitch. If they feel that would be the best case scenario, to throw out of the bullpen, I could repeat myself over and over, but I’m up for that absolutely.”
Arrieta pitched five shutout innings for Norfolk on May 29, but, over his last two starts in 10 1/3 innings, he has given up 19 hits, 15 runs and a .396 batting average against.
For now, he says he hasn’t been approach by the brass about a role switch to the ‘pen.
“That is where I’m at now, but an in-depth conversation about that, we haven’t had that yet,” he said. “If that comes up, we’ll go with it and move forward.”