Chances of Arrieta pitching “50-50”

Whether Jake Arrieta makes his next start depends on a couple of factors, according to manager Buck Showalter.

Showalter will monitor the rookie’s workout days and wait until Brian Matusz’s next start becomes official. Matusz is playing catch today to test his left arm, which is sporting a bruise after being hit by a line drive.

“Try to get a feel for where Brian would go back in,” Showalter said. “It could affect Jake a little bit.”

Arrieta’s next turn would fall on Tuesday in Boston unless Matusz can’t go on Monday. Again, there are a couple of factors in play here.

“He’s still below what we consider the caution area,” Showalter said. “I’d say it’s 50-50 right now. But if there’s any doubt where he is physically, we would probably lean toward not pitching him.”

Showalter told reporters today that he’d like to give Arrieta a start in Fenway Park before the season ends.

“That’s one place he hasn’t pitched yet,” Showalter said. “We think he’s got a chance to make our team next year and it would be a good thing to not have it happen for the first time next year. Just things they can go back with and it’s not a deer-in-the-headlights kind of thing.”

I like the way Showalter thinks.

I also like that Showalter will keep Arrieta busy, even if the right-hander comes out of the rotation. He’d want Arrieta to sit in the stands behind home plate for one game and in the bullpen for another, just to provide a different angle and perspective.

I really like the way Showalter thinks.

“It won’t be a vacation if we do it, I can tell you that,” Showalter said. “It’ll be a lot less work to be pitching. If they can’t grasp that, then maybe they should start their off-season, because it’s not going to be a free and easy playtime.”

No matter what happens to Arrieta next week, he won’t pitch through the end of the season. He’ll be shut down at some point.

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