Jake Arrieta is very quietly off to a pretty impressive start in 2011. As far as the O's young starting pitching goes, most of the focus in 2011 has been has been on rookie Zach Britton's phenomenal start and the injury to Brian Matusz that sounds more like a vacation destination than a real thing. Because of this, it has been relatively easy to overlook what Arrieta has been doing on the hill thus far in 2011.
I know the worth of the “win” statistic in baseball for pitchers is vastly overblown, however something is going right when a guy starts the season off with a 4-1 record and a 1.25 WHIP. Something that has also been very, very nice to see is the the fact that Arrieta's K/BB ratio is up to 2.20 (from 1.08 in 2010). Not only has his command been better in 2011 (3.4BB/9 down from 4.3 in 2010) but he’s also striking out quite a few more guys (7.6K/9 up from 4.7 in 2010). His ERA so far (4.38) is not entirely impressive, however it takes only a quick look at his peripherals (4.06 FIP, 3.85 xFIP) to see that perhaps he has pitched just a little bit better than that. I know it’s a small sample size, but you really just have to like what you’re seeing early on in 2011 from Jake Arrieta, and given his minor league track record, I don't think that numbers like these are entirely unsustainable for him moving forward.