Jake Arrieta expects to be ready for start of Phillies season

JAKE13-A
New Phillies pitcher Jake Arrieta (second from left) at his introductory press conference Tuesday with (from left) agent Scott Boras, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Jake Arrieta said Tuesday at his introductory news conference that he expects to be ready for the start of the Phillies season despite missing the first four weeks of spring training.

The pitcher, who joined the Phillies on a three-year contract worth $75 million, said he has been throwing 50- to 65-pitch bullpen sessions every two or three days. His arm strength is built up, Arrieta said.

“My body is in tremendous shape,” Arrieta said. “I feel like we’ll probably sit down and game-plan and decide how quickly I get into a game and how many pitches I’m able to throw right away and develop a program to get me ready for the opening week of the season because that’s exactly what I intend to do.”

[20 Things to know about Jake Arrieta]

Arrieta made four spring training starts in each of the last three seasons. If he’s not ready for the start of the season, which will begin March 29, the Phillies could use a four-man rotation until April 11 because of off days. If Arrieta debuts on the 11th, then Aaron Nola would pitch on April 13 after an off day and the Phillies would have their top two arms pitching back-to-back.

“The workload has been good. Obviously, I haven’t been in a game yet, but I’m a quick learner and I like my chances,” Arrieta said.