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Elbow barking, Arrieta mulls shutting down year

August 12, 2019

Jake Arrieta has made six starts since disclosing that he has a bone spur in his right elbow, and for the first time, the right-hander appears to be openly considering whether he will continue to pitch through the issue. After surrendering five runs in three innings against the Giants at

Jake Arrieta has made six starts since disclosing that he has a bone spur in his right elbow, and for the first time, the right-hander appears to be openly considering whether he will continue to pitch through the issue.

After surrendering five runs in three innings against the Giants at Oracle Park on Sunday, Arrieta didn't dismiss the idea of ending his season, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury.

"I don't necessarily want to make a decision right now," Arrieta told Salisbury. "We'll have the off-day Monday and maybe have a conversation on Tuesday."

The marble-sized bone spur has affected his performance -- on Sunday he admitted to pain and said the issue limited the effectiveness of his offspeed pitches -- and his 4.64 ERA through 24 starts would be his highest for a season since 2013.

Arrieta is generally effective at the beginning of games, posting a 3.62 ERA through four innings this season, but that figure climbs to 6.20 in the fifth inning and beyond. That's when he's said his elbow begins to bother him and affect his velocity and command. He hasn't completed six innings since June.

This is the second time in his career that Arrieta has pitched through a bone spur in his right elbow. The last time, in 2011 with the Orioles, it required season-ending surgery in August. Arrieta has said he plans to undergo surgery in the offseason to address it, but it remains to be seen if his recent woes will accelerate that time table.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com.