Arrieta recalled from Triple-A to aid overworked bullpen
BALTIMORE -- Orioles right-hander Jake Arrieta was recalled prior to Saturday's game, where he will be used -- at least initially -- as an extra bullpen arm who can go multiple innings and help spell an overworked relief corps.
Arrieta, who made the drive from Williamsburg, Va., got the call following Friday's night's 12-10 loss -- which marked the fifth time in six games the Orioles have had a starter go five or fewer innings -- and the 27-year-old fit in for a few reasons. Arrieta, who threw a pair of sides on Wednesday and Thursday, was slated to start Triple-A Norfolk's game Saturday against Durham, so he can give the team length and is already on the 40-man roster.
"This is the guy that everybody felt like fit the description we had," manager Buck Showalter said of the decision to promote Arrieta, who had a 6.63 ERA in four big league starts this season before he was optioned on April 22. "Right now, he's here to help us in the bullpen. And we'll see what Monday brings. I shouldn't say Monday -- wherever those days fall. As long as [Miguel Gonzalez] has a good work day, we are leaning toward him on Tuesday."
Arrieta, who won the final rotation spot this spring, could be an option to start Monday against the Yankees. The Orioles have yet to name a starter past Chris Tillman on Sunday, although Monday would be Freddy Garcia's scheduled turn.
"What I really did is I started to take the emotions out of it," Arrieta said of his time in Triple-A, in which he posted a 2.75 ERA in three starts, throwing 19 2/3 innings on 16 hits and three walks with 17 strikeouts. "For me, when I was getting in high-stress situations where I needed to make quality pitches to get out of big innings, I allowed anger or over-aggression. And those sort of emotions come with a pitcher, and I basically tried to do more than I needed to to get outs.
"I went down there and really relaxed. I took the emotions completely out of it [whether] there were guys on base or nobody on base. That translated to pretty solid results, and I was throwing a lot more strikes that way as well."
Arrieta, who last pitched in a game on May 7, has been dealing with some right shoulder tenderness, but he said he's happy with how it feels now.
"I developed a little stiffness as few starts ago. It's something that has been manageable," Arrieta said. "They wanted to give me a few days, kind of push me back a little bit. I've stayed on top of it as much as I can.
"Flexibility-wise and mobility -- those are the two main things that are my focus to keep the shoulder feeling the way it is right now. I look forward to the shoulder to continue to progress and get to 100 percent. But I definitely feel a lot better than I did a few days ago."