Mediocrity has been the one-word definition for the Chicago Cubs in their nearly entire existence. The team generally finds themselves realistically out of contention for postseason play shortly after the summer seasons begin.
But perhaps another shipment of their veterans has led them to improve their starting rotation, a huge key when it comes to being a World Series contender.
On July 2nd, the Cubs traded Scott Feldman to the Baltimore Orioles for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. Arrieta has been in the starting rotation already with Strop being a reliever. Bruce Levine of ESPN Chciago explains how both pitchers were dominate in a shutout victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
Strop has worked nicely into the back end of the Cubs bullpen and Arrieta, after his second straight dominant performance on Friday, will now have time over the last quarter of the season to establish himself securely in the Cubs’ 2014 rotation. Manager Dale Sveum said Arrieta has a spot for the rest of the season.
Arrieta is glad to be back into a starting rotation, as he’s started just seven games this season. Two of them were with the Cubs, his first a no decision against the Milwaukee Brewers. Both starts were solid, but Friday’s was impressive with zero runs given up and just two hits in seven innings.
“The biggest thing is to be able to get into a routine again,” Arrieta said after the Cubs shut out the Cardinals, 7-0. “I now know I will be taking the ball every five days for this team. This is something I envisioned myself doing ever since the trade was made. My mindset was to just go about my business and be consistent whether it’s here or in Iowa.”
Both players could be huge additions to the rotation next season, and perhaps Theo Epstein can continue moving the Cubs toward becoming a World Series contender once again.