For the time being, the Philadelphia Phillies will still have the services of starting pitcher Jake Arrieta as a core piece of their rotation. However, his long-term status remains in the air.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, manager Gabe Kapler announced that X-rays confirmed Arrieta is dealing with a bone spur in his pitching elbow. He’ll return to the mound on Sunday when the Phillies face the Washington Nationals.
It’s certainly a risk for the Phillies, especially given the magnitude of what a long-term absence would mean for the playoff push. Ultimately the team is valuing the importance of getting wins now and hoping Arrieta’s nagging elbow doesn’t cause even more problems in the future.
Arrieta comes out of the All-Star Break with a 4.67 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 18 starts. His ERA has taken a bigger hit as of late thanks to a 6.27 ERA in his past six starts, a greater sign of when the elbow started bothering him.
The Phillies will likely have to explore the trade market for a starting pitcher in the coming weeks. It would not only allow them to rest Arrieta’s elbow but also provide a spark to a pitching staff that needs more talent.