Arrieta starts Wednesday in Cincinnati, Villanueva moves to bullpen. #Cubs
— Alyson Footer (@alysonfooter) April 28, 2014
Arrieta began the season on the disabled list with tightness and inflammation in his right shoulder. He made five starts in his Minor-League rehab assignment, going 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 20 total innings. His last start on Saturday lasted 44 pitches. That number of pitches is normal for a starting pitcher's final Spring Training outing, which is similar to what Arrieta did.
As of Sunday night, manager Rick Renteria did not know when he would have Arrieta start. However, he decided on putting Arrieta into the rotation on Wednesday night even though the right-hander will pitch then on four days rest rather than five. Since Arrieta threw only 44 pitches Saturday, the short rest may not bother him as much as it would following a longer outing.
The Cubs' rotation ranks ninth in the National League in ERA at 3.80 as play begins on April 28. Arrieta had an ERA of 3.66 in nine starts with the Cubs last year, so a repeat performance will really help. The Cubs' problems, though, lie mainly in the offense, which has averaged 3.66 runs per game, good for 14th in the league. The Cubs are in last place in the N.L. Central, already 9.5 games out at 8-16.
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