.163 is the batting average opponents have had against Jake Arrieta since the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. This is the type of stat that many thought Arrieta would be able to put up year in and year out.
Once a top prospect in the Baltimore Orioles organization, Arrieta never could find his groove with the Orioles. In 69 career games pitched (63 starts), Arrieta posted a record of 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA. With these numbers it made sense for the Orioles to part ways with him last season, given the depth that they had in the minors in terms of pitching. Along with that it also made sense for the Cubs to try and strike lightning in a bottle with Arrieta and hope he can turn into what scouts thought he had the potential to be.
When the Cubs traded for Arrieta, they did not know what they were going to get from him, but hoped that a change of scenery could rejuvenate Arrieta and help him live up to his potential. Fortunately for the Cubs, since the trade Arrieta has been fantastic. Since coming over from the Orioles last season, Arrieta has a 10-4 record with a 2.65 ERA in a Cubs uniform. This year Arrieta has been even better posting an ERA of 2.11 along with a SO/9 of 9.7 which is far and away the best of his career.
The numbers that Arrieta is posting this season, are the type of numbers that the Cubs were hoping the could get from him. I do not imagine they thought he would be this good, but he is showing that he may have what it takes to be placed at the front of the rotation for many years to come. At age 28, Arrieta is just beginning to reach the prime of his career and seems to be achieving the potential many thought he would.
After the trade of Samardzija (the Cubs ace coming into the season), there was a feeling that the Cubs would have to go out of the organization in order to find an ace to lead the rotation unless someone stepped up in a major way. Arrieta has certainly stepped up and is proving that he may be the answer as the Cubs newest ace. He possess the stuff to be the leader of the rotation, now it is just a matter of him having the ability to pitch consistently well each start.
It is very well known that the Cubs will be seeking pitching in the very near future, but they may just have an ace in the rotation already in Arrieta. If he continues to pitch as well as he has been of late, he could be a solution to one of the organizations biggest problems.