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BCB After Dark: A tough decision ahead

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The hip spot for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks what should be done with Jake Arrieta?

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the nightclub for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re not enforcing a two-drink minimum tonight because I figure that you’re already at least on your third one. But please be nice to the wait staff and tip them generously. And thanks for coming by to drown your sorrows.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

The Cubs scored ten runs tonight, but that wasn’t enough to prevent their 11th-straight loss, 15-10 to the Phillies. Most of those Cubs runs were scored in “garbage time” as well, but man was it nice to see Robinson Chirinos hit his first Cubs home run. He was in the farm system back in 2007 when I first started writing about the Cubs minor leagues and while he’s had a long major league career, he’s finally had a hit for the Cubs.

Last night I asked if it was time for the Cubs to start trading players away and 64% said that there’s no need to wait, start trading players ASAP. Another 14% said to wait a week or two and another 14% said that there was no harm in waiting until the end of the month.

Tuesday is the day that I have an abbreviated After Dark edition, but there’s no reason I can’t share a jazz track with you. For some reason, I found saxophonist Dexter Gordon’s “I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry” [VIDEO] to be appropriate right now for Cubs fans.

Next, this is a hard topic to deal with, but Jake Arrieta got knocked around again tonight and didn’t make it out of the second inning. It’s his second-straight game where he couldn’t make it out of the second inning. He’s given up five or more runs in five of his last eight starts, and in one of those other three, he gave up four. The Cubs have won only one of those eight starts. His last “quality start”—six or more innings and three or fewer runs, came on May 14.

So what should be done with Jake Arrieta? There’s no question that Arrieta is a legend in Cubs history. His emergence in 2014 and his Cy Young Award winning season in 2015 were the first signs of the Cubs emergence that led to the World Series title in 2016. More importantly, he won games two and six of the 2016 World Series. Without Arrieta, the Cubs drought would be 113 years and counting.

But the sad fact is that Arrieta has not looked like a major league pitcher over the past six weeks. In fact, he’s looked like someone who would even struggle in Triple-A. And honestly, he hasn’t been unlucky either. Not including tonight’s game, which would undoubtedly make this number worse, the percentage of “hard-hit” balls with an exit velocity of 95 mph or above off of Arrieta this season is 47%. That’s astronomically bad and easily a career-worst for Arrieta.

So my question is: What should the Cubs do with Jake Arrieta? Should he take the mound for his next start? It’s not like there are a lot of other great options to start out there. Should he move to the bullpen until he can straighten things out? He’s only pitched six career games out of the pen. Should the Cubs find some sort of “injury” and put him on the IL and hope he rediscovers something while he “rehabs”? Or do the Cubs just need to release a team legend?

They’re all bad choices. Which one is the least bad?

Poll

What should the Cubs do with Jake Arrieta?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Leave him in the rotation for now
    (74 votes)
  • 14%
    Send him to the bullpen
    (112 votes)
  • 27%
    Put him on the injured list
    (220 votes)
  • 48%
    Release him
    (388 votes)
794 votes total Vote Now

Thanks again for stopping by. We’ll be back tomorrow night with another edition of BCB After Dark and let us hope it is a happier one.