PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said Wednesday morning that Jake Arrieta is expected to start this weekend against the Nationals, despite the fact that Arrieta has a bone spur in his right elbow. The Phils, however, have not made that official.
Philadelphia has named its starters for the first two games of its three-game series against Washington, beginning Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. Right-hander Nick Pivetta (4-3, 5.84 ERA) will pitch Friday against Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 3.64 ERA). Phillies ace Aaron Nola (8-2, 3.74 ERA) will face left-hander Patrick Corbin (7-5, 3.34 ERA) on Saturday.
The Phils will face Nats ace Max Scherzer (9-5, 2.30 ERA) on Sunday, with or without Arrieta.
“As of now, Jake will make his start for us against the Nationals, and we're going to support him,” Kapler told Angelo Cataldi during his weekly appearance on 94 WIP. “Jake is a competitor. And for the Phillies, it's always worth considering if Jake at 85% of himself is a better option than what we have at Triple-A. It's not terribly uncommon for veteran pitchers to successfully pitch with issues like this one.”
Arrieta is 8-7 with a 4.67 ERA, but he has a 6.63 ERA in his past seven starts. Kapler said Arrieta will have an MRI exam this week.
“He’s been effective, but he can’t quite finish the way he should be able to,” Kapler said.