Checking in on Jake Arrieta

Yesterday Jake Arrieta made his 11th start of the year for the Bowie Baysox and pitched a 7 inning complete game, allowing 0 runs on 3 hits. He struck out 5 and walked 0.  Oh, and he did it all on 77 pitches. Arrieta's ERA is down to 2.59 and he picked up his 6th win on the year.

If that wasn't enough, he was also named the Eastern League's pitcher of the week for the second time this year, the first Bowie pitcher to win it twice in one year since 2001.

Here are the numbers for each of Arrieta's starts so far:

9 April 4.0 1 0 2 8
15 April 5.0 7 1 3 4
21 April 3.0 3 3 1 4
26 April 6.0 2 0 2 6
6 May 3.1 7 5 3 4
11 May 5.0 4 1 2 6
16 May 7.0 1 0 3 10
22 May 6.0 6 3 1 9
28 May 6.0 6 2 3 5
2 June 6.2 5 2 3 9
7 June 7.0 3 0 0 5


59 45 17 23 70


Jake's K/9 is 10.7 on the year, which is 2nd among starters in the Eastern League to only George Kontos of the Trenton Thunder, who's K/9 is 10.8. Kontos has only made four starts in AA, however, so we'll see where he stands after 11. After 4 starts this year Arrieta's K/9 was 11.

At 3.5 BB/9, Jake's walk rate is nothing to rave about, but I don't think anything to worry about either. That's pretty much right in the middle of pack in the Eastern League. Of the 65 pitchers to have at least 5 starts in the Eastern League this season, 37 of them (56%) have a BB/9 lower than Arrieta's. Of course, none of those pitchers have the strikeouts that Jake has, so his K/BB of 3.05 is good for 11th in the league despite his middling walk rate.

What I think is the best news of all, however, is that despite moving up a level, Jake's numbers are getting better.  Check out the comparative stats:

G IP ERA H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K/BB
2008 (A+) 20 113 2.87 6.4 0.6 4.1 9.6 2.35
2009 (AA) 11 59 2.59 6.9 0.6 3.5 10.7 3.04


His innings pitched per outing is actually a little bit less this year, but if you look at his individual game logs he definitely progressing this year (he's averaging almost 6.1 innings in his past 6 compared to about 4.1 in his first five). I can't find game logs of past minor league seasons to compare, unfortunately. If anyone knows where they exist, please let me know.

I think that after the minor league all star games we'll see a number of promotions. Arrieta and his teammate Troy Patton should be moved up to AAA (although I could make a case for Patton going straight to the MLB), and Brian Matusz should get a promotion to AA.

All stats are from Baseball Reference and Arrieta's comparisons to other Eastern League pitchers are only to pitchers with at least 5 starts this year, unless otherwise noted.

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