This past off-season, Cubs fans, as we all have at one time or another, fell in love with a new toy: a great new pitcher (to this organization anyways) named Jon Lester. Yes, if you’re a Cubs fan and reading this right now you may be scoffing or trying not to spill your drink because we all know that he has struggled to begin this 2015 campaign. Struggle is a tough word to use though since, honestly, he hasn’t. However, as he came in being a highly touted “ace”, more was expected.
In four starts, Lester owns an 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA. He’s given up 29 hits and 15 runs in 21 2/3 innings pitched. He does, however, have 24 strike outs and a 5/1 K/BB ratio. Although his ERA is a tad bit high, most pitchers would love to have these numbers to begin the season.
Jake Arrieta, however, has those numbers and skills that people love to see out of their “ace.” Also having started four contests for the Chicago Cubs this seasonm he’s rocking a 3-1 record with a whisper-thin 2.03 ERA. In 26 2/3 innings pitched, he’s only given up 18 hits and six runs He also owns a 3/1 K/BB ratio (25 strike outs).
But this isn’t just the beginning of good things for Jake Arrieta. Although he’s never pitched more than 156 2/3 innings in a season, he’s proven himself contest after contest. In 25 starts last season, he owned a 4/1 K/BB ratio to go along within 10-5 record and 2.53 ERA.
The fact is that even though Arrieta didn’t come along to the Cubs until 2013 (Once upon a time he was the Baltimore Orioles top pitching prospect), he’s been the top hurler ever since the departure of Jeff Samardzija. One could even make the argument that he was even giving Samardzija a run for that title back in 2014.
I know it’s cliche but the ice water in Arrieta’s veins would give a polar bear the chills. Everyone wants to get down on Lester but the season is still quite young. He’ll come around sooner than later. The media and fans alike talk about what moves the Chicago Cubs must do to solidify this roster and become consistent playoff contenders. Every ball club can make improvement to their pitching staff, but the Cubs have their ace, even if he’s second in the rotation.