Jake Arrieta has been out since injuring his hamstring on September 4 against the Pirates, so that’s now nine days. There had been some hope he might start this weekend against the Cardinals, but now that appears unlikely:
#Cubs Arrieta played catch. No bullpen session scheduled yet. Doubtful he will face Cardinals— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 12, 2017
Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio says the team will be very cautious in getting Jake back into action:
“How far away, I don’t know right now,” Bosio said on the Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score on Wednesday morning. “Right now, it’s really a day-to-day thing. We got good reports from the trainer yesterday, good reports from Jake, had a nice throwing session where he got it up to about 120 feet pretty effort-less. It’s so important that there’s obviously no setbacks. He’s trying to do everything he can within reason. We got to be smart about this. We got to make sure he’s healthy, because any tweak at all could cost him the rest of the regular season. Now, I don’t know how many starts he’s going to have. I don’t have that crystal ball, but he is progressing. It is getting better. That’s all I can say. It definitely could’ve been a lot worse.”
Assuming Jake doesn’t start against the Cardinals this weekend, it would make sense to hold him out through the two-game series vs. the Rays next week. If he seems ready by late next week, he could then be slated to start one of the games against the Brewers at Miller Park and then one against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in those two series, which begin September 20.
If that’s the case, it would be at least another week, perhaps eight or nine days, until he can start. Obviously there’s no longer a chance to send him on a rehab assignment with the Cubs affiliates minor-league seasons over, so he’d likely do a couple of bullpen sessions and then maybe a simulated game.
The Cubs do need Jake back, but Bosio is right, rushing him isn’t the right thing to do.