Let’s Talk Baseball, Or Whatever: Which Arrieta Are We Getting?

Mailbag #1 Which Arrieta?

Hello there, ladies and germs!

So I’m changing things up a bit. You may remember my Wind Up—it’s made sporadic appearances over the past couple months, but not on its usual weekly basis. If you were a fan, thanks! And if you weren’t, that’s cool too! Either way, it’s not going anywhere. Going forward, it’ll just appear every other week.

So what about the weeks in between? Well I’m going to try a bi-weekly mailbag—some baseball, some whatever else you want to talk about—for the foreseeable future. So please, leave a comment or email shaun@thesportspost.com with your questions going forward. Okay, that’s enough rambling. Let’s get to our very first one!

From NateIUsher:

What do you think is more likely, a repeat of Jake Arrieta’s 2015 or a repeat of Jake Arrieta’s 2013?

Can he just leave the division so I, a Brewers fan, don’t have to put up with him anymore? No? Okay, fine.

While I don’t quite see the dominance of his ’15 season returning, I’m fairly certain the ’13 version of Arrieta is a distant memory. So if I’m choosing one, I’m opting for the former. The only thing to really keep an eye on from last year is his control issues.

Despite a “down year” this past season compared to his Cy Young-winning campaign, Arrieta still struck out significantly more batters in 2016 than he did during ’13. His home run rate last year was still just about a half a tick lower than it was in ’13. His groundball rate was still significantly higher, and so on. Assuming his walk rate stabilizes in 2017, 2013 Arrieta is a fair way off.

From shawn_w_smith:

Will my Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series in four games or be generous and win in five?

Well Shawn, they will take the slightest amount of pity on their opponent, and allow the World Series to stretch five games. But no further; they can’t afford to be too nice—even if they’re from Canada.

From brewerfan28:

How many starts will Paolo Espino make for the Brewers this year?

Outfielders, middle infielders and starting pitchers—with all the depth they possess at each of those positions, the Brewers could potentially fashion a starting nine out of those three positions alone, probably. (Look I didn’t say it would be a good one, okay?)

Anyway, Espino was a 10th-rounder back in 2006, just turned 30 and hasn’t notched even one-third of an inning in the majors. Which means that with all the starting pitching depth the Brewers have, one or two of them will undoubtedly get injured and another will get sent down. Suddenly, Milwaukee will need a spot start in a pinch. And yet, Espino still won’t be anywhere close to getting that chance.

So I’m taking the bold stance of saying zero. I look forward to the inevitability that is me being wrong. Somehow.

From TomSelleck16:

How many starts will Matt Garza kick the Cubs teeth in during?

Just as Jake Arrieta will haunt the Brewers whenever he can this season, so too, will Matt Garza. We can’t have nice things in Milwaukee, Tom. The team spent actual money on Matt Garza, after all. Tens of millions of dollars on a walking, breathing dumpster fire—and that’s just describing his on-field performance.

On the other hand, the Brewers—even when they’re bad—are always up for frustrating the Cubs from time to time. So I’m saying one. Anything extra is just gravy.

And finally, the vaguest of questions, from travis_mke:

Who is the best?

Well Travis, that depends on what we’re talking about. Do you mean the best football coach of all time? Because that’s Mike McCarthy. Do you mean the best soccer club? Because that’s Aston Villa. Or do you mean the best wrestler? Because we both know it’s Chris Jericho, you stupid idiot.

But I think I know what you’re talking about—you want to know who the best Brewer is. And obviously, there is only one correct answer. It’s a shame he was only around for two seasons, but I suppose it was just too much of a good thing. So looking back, all we can do is cherish the time we had with Yuniesky Betancourt.

I look forward to doing this again in a couple weeks, folks. See you next time!

Mailbag #1 Which Arrieta?

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