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August 14, 2019

Phillies place Jake Arrieta on injured list, likely ending his season

Prior to their game against Cole Hamels and the Cubs on Wednesday night, the Phillies placed starter Jake Arrieta on the 10-day injured list and recalled Logan Morrison, who had been hitting .308 with triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Arrieta, who has been pitching through a bone spur in his elbow for some time now, struggled mightily in his last outing against the Giants on Sunday night, and his postgame comments led many to speculate that this would be the last time we saw him in a Phillies uniform this season.

Here's more, via Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

“Yeah, it hurts every day,” Arrieta said. “Today, I lacked the ability to throw any off-speed stuff with effectiveness and they made me pay for it..."

After his previous starts, Arrieta had always been adamant that he wants to keep pitching with the bone spur. He plans corrective surgery in the offseason.

But after this one, he hedged when asked if he would keep pitching.  []

A few days later, it appears we have an answer, with Arrieta telling reporters on Wednesday that he doesn't think he'll pitch again this season and is likely headed for surgery following an MRI on Thursday. 

"[I'm going to get an] MRI tomorrow, just to get a better picture of the extent of the spur and to see if there are any loose bodies that might be in there as well," Arrieta said. "But as far as the procedure, it's very straightforward — I've been through this process before, in 2011, so I'm pretty comfortable with the process after, the recovery. And it's not a long period of time that I'll be down for. 

"I'll probably miss the remainder of the season, but there's no doubt I'll have a completely healthy offseason heading into next year." 

Zach Eflin, who was moved to the bullpen earlier in the season, will reportedly take Arrieta's spot in the Phillies rotation.

Here's manager Gabe Kapler on the decision to place Arrieta on the injured list:

Arrieta, who is in the second year of a three-year, $75 million deal that includes $22.5 million team options in 2021 and 2022, has a 4.26 ERA in 55 starts with the Phillies. This season, the 33-year-old righty  is 8-8 with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.474 WHIP in 24 starts. 

That's clearly not what the Phillies had hoped for when they signed the former Cy Young winner prior to the 2018 season, but it wasn't going to get any better this season, and not until Arrieta undergoes surgery, which now seems likely to happen soon.

The good news is, as Arrieta alluded to above, the procedure is relatively minor, and it should allow him to be much more effective on the mound once it's healed. 

Unfortunately, that won't be time for Arrieta to help the Phillies make a playoff push down the stretch this season. 

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