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Cubs give Jake Arrieta a shot at starting

Updated: August 14, 2013 5:55PM



The 2014 season starts in earnest for the Cubs on Friday when recently acquired Jake Arrieta joins the rotation as the Cubs start taking stock of what kind of quality they have in-house as they plan their next roster.

Arrieta, the right-hander acquired from Baltimore in the Scott Feldman trade July 2, made an impressive Cubs debut two weeks ago in a spot start during a doubleheader against Milwaukee.

“We made the decision to bring him here and start here so [pitching coach Chris] Bosio can get a grip on him and [bullpen coach] Lester [Strode] as well,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He’ll pitch here and we’ll see what we’ve got.”

Arrieta, 27, who was 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA in seven starts for Class AAA Iowa, is 20-25 with a 5.34 ERA in 64 career big-league starts.

Swingman Carlos Villanueva (2-8, 4.26) moves to the bullpen instead of Wednesday’s starter Chris Rusin (2-1, 3.08), who has pitched well since being recalled from Iowa in July after trades depleted the rotation.

“Not that Villanueva was doing horrible, but Rusin was doing really, really well,” Sveum said. “So it was hard to bump a guy that’s given up one run and no runs every outing since he’s been here.

“It kind of makes it simple. And Villanueva’s done it before. And losing [reliever Matt] Guerrier [to injury], he can kind of be that guy in the sixth, seventh inning when we’re winning and get people out.”

Guerrier, who suffered a tendon tear in his elbow during a game in Philadelphia last week, was awaiting a second opinion from Cincinnati orthopedist Tim Kremcheck on Wednesday before deciding where and when to have surgery to repair the tear.

The surgery, which falls far short of Tommy John reconstruction, likely requires a six-to-eight-month recovery and rehab process, Guerrier said.

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

Twitter: @GDubCub



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