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2019 Phillies in review: Jake Arrieta

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I don’t know man, I have a good feeling about Arrieta in 2020

MLB: AUG 01 Giants at Phillies Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The numbers

135 23 IP, 24 GS, 18.5 K%, 8.6 BB%, 4.64 ERA (4.89 FIP), 1.1 fWAR

The good

When you first think of Jake Arrieta’s 2019 season, does anything jump out at you as “good”? During most of these player reviews, we can pinpoint something that the player was really good at, even if we have to dig a little bit. Sometimes, you can look at a specific play and remember, “oh yeah, that was pretty cool!” With Arrieta, it’s possible that the thing he’s remembered for the most in 2019 is his impromptu video when the Bryce Harper signing was announced.

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Getting the house ready for @bharper3407

A post shared by Jake Arrieta (@jarrieta49) on

He had a good March/April, where he went 4-2 with a 3.46 ERA in 39 innings. He struck out 30, walked 15 and was generally reliable, so I guess that’s the good in his season.

I will also give the guy credit for gutting out some starts when the team needed innings. They weren’t great starts, but I’ll always give someone their due for trying to help the team, even if it is at the detriment of their own physical well-being.

The bad

After April - not so good. 96 innings of 5.12 ERA pitching just ain’t gonna cut it. Sure he was hurt; that can probably explain a lot of his issues with location, struggles with command, etc. But so far, he just hasn’t been worth what the team signed him for.

Oh yeah, probably not the best idea to be calling out the right fielder so early in the season.

Or telling the one of the players on the opposition that you are going to “dent his skull”.

Even looking past the on-field stuff, the things Arrieta says off the field rub a lot of people the wrong way. He hasn’t made many fans here in the city and many of them won’t be sad to see him go. The guy has a right to say whatever he wants, but sometimes, there is a line that cannot be crossed. I think many fans would like to see Arrieta just pitch well in 2020.

The future

Even still, for some reason, I have a good feeling about Arrieta heading into the 2020 season.

Now, I know for many people, it pains them to read that sentence. Pretty much every single meaningful statistic for Arrieta has trended downward since he arrived. It’s been pretty obvious that he has been a disappointment since he came here, but I’d argue that the team was getting exactly what they signed up for. It wasn’t reasonable to expect the Arrieta of 2015-16. Age just doesn’t work like that. But they knew it was an overpay when they signed him. That’s why his contract was structured the way it was. The team wouldn’t be committed to him that long if he fell off a cliff.

Yet there is just this nagging feeling that, after all his surgeries both in-season and off, he has something to prove this year. He’ll be more or less completely healthy, he’ll be motivated to have the team pick up its option for next year and he’ll just generally want to be better. I’m not going to put odds on it, but I like the chances of Arrieta having a 3-4 WAR season in 2020. If not, he’ll be gone at the end of it.