By all accounts, Jake Arrieta won’t be buying any cheesesteaks with that $75 million contract. The guy is all business when it comes to maintaining his body. That goes for his beard, too. Snake oil, he said last year, is the key to its sheen. Nice.
Here’s a quick look at the Phillies biggest pitching free agent signee since Cliff Lee eight years ago.
1. Drafted by the Orioles in the fifth round in 2007. Played three-plus seasons with Baltimore before being traded to the Cubs on July 2, 2013. The deal resurrected Arrieta’s baseball life. Phillies executives Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail both were in Baltimore with Arrieta.
2. Arrieta’s career ERA with Baltimore (5.46) is twice as high as what he posted in Chicago (2.73). He has said that constant tinkering with his mechanics led to his struggles with the O’s.
3. Was born in Farmington, Mo., but grew up in Texas. Attended Plano East High School and Texas Christian University.
4. Has known his wife Brittany since grade school. They started dating in high school and went to TCU together. The couple have two children.
5. Arrieta tied for the NCAA Division I lead with 14 wins as a sophomore in 2006 for the Horned Frogs. The guy he tied with, Cal St. Fullerton’s L.J. Gagnier, never got to the majors, but did reach Triple A. Washington’s Tim Lincecum was tied for 12th with 12 wins. Alabama freshman – and new Phillies teammate – Tommy Hunter had 10 wins, tied for 34th nationally.
6. Was such a fierce gym rat that TCU manager Jim Schlossnagle once banned him from working out because he feared Arrieta was overdoing it. In fact, Arrieta slipped to the fifth round after a relatively subpar junior season (9-3, 3.01 ERA). He was 14-4 with a 2.35 ERA the season before.
7. Is 6-4, 225 pounds and turned 32 on March 6. He’s logged 1,161 innings in eight seasons.
8. Sparked a minor brushfire when he tweeted out the morning after the 2016 Presidential election that it was “Time for Hollywood to pony up and head for the border”. In a report by NBC Sports Chicago afterward, Arrieta explained “People can interpret a tweet however they want. But I was simply calling out people that said they were going to leave the country if Trump was elected. It’s not a pro-Trump tweet. It’s not an anti-Hillary tweet. I don’t care who the president is – I want whoever’s president to do a good job.”
— Jake Arrieta (@JArrieta34) November 9, 2016
9. Former Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio described Arrieta’s delivery as “violence with command.”
10. Pitched two no-hitters while with the Cubs, beating the Dodgers in 2015 and the Reds in 2016. In his first, Arrieta became the first pitcher to strike out the side in the ninth inning of a no-hitter since Sandy Koufax did it in 1965.
11. Is close friends with Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter, a former college teammate. Carpenter is 3 for 36 off Arrieta with two homers and 10 strikeouts.
12. Won the 2015 Cy Young Award after one of the all-time campaigns (22-6, 1.77 ERA). From Aug. 4 until the end of the season, Arrieta was 11-0 in 12 starts with a 0.41 ERA. Those are deadball-era numbers, folks.
14. Won two World Series games in 2016 as the Cubs ended a 108 year drought/curse. Pitched 5.2 innings in both Game 2 and Game 6. Has a 3.08 ERA in nine postseason starts.
15. Hit a three-run homer off Madison Bumgarner in the 2016 NLDS, oddly the only game that series the Cubs lost. Has hit five regular-season homers, but is just a .175 career hitter.
16. Is 88-56 in his career with a 3.57 ERA.. Went 68-31 in five seasons with the Cubs, posting a 1.03 WHIP.
|All-time Jakes in Philadelphia sports|
|Jake Elliott, Eagles: Helped win the first Super Bowl|
|Jake Voracek, Flyers: Steady player in his seventh season|
|Jake Diekman, Phillies: Lefty reliever from 2012-15|
|Jake Thompson, Phillies: Prospect trying to find his way into rotation|
|Jake Arrieta, Phillies: Need to check back in late September|
17. Hit .262 in 2016. Is 0 for 5 with three Ks and a walk as a hitter in his career at Citizens Bank Park.
18. Pitched two gems in his only starts at Citizens Bank Park, winning both. Arrieta tossed seven shutout innings in a 2014 game and allowed only an Aaron Altherr solo homer in eight innings of work in 2015. He hasn’t pitched in Philadelphia since.
19. The Phillies play in Chicago June 5-7 and host the Cubs Labor Day weekend.
20. Brittany mentioned in a 2016 Sports Illustrated feature story Arrieta’s moniker. “Beast. That’s our nickname for him. I would not like to face him if I were a baseball player. You don’t know what’s going through his mind. You can’t even get the guy to flinch.
“Not everybody can pull off that beard. His back and chest and face are all hairy. We have a werewolf in the family. And it’s like his eyes are locked in on you.”