(CBS) In deciding to push back right-hander Jake Arrieta to their fifth game out of the All-Star break, the Cubs brass is, to a lesser extent, utilizing a strategy that the Red Sox used to employ with ace Pedro Martinez.
Back then, Boston in some years would give Martinez as long a break as possible surrounding the All-Star Game, notably in 1999 and 2000 when he was the game’s best pitcher and authoring historic seasons. Of course, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein took over as the Red Sox general manager in late 2002 after having already worked in their front office, so he’s familiar with their approach to Martinez’s usage.
With Arrieta’s most recent start coming last Friday, he’ll have 10 full days of rest before he takes the mound Tuesday against the Mets at Wrigley Field. He’s struggled in his last three starts, giving up 15 earned runs in his past 16 1/3 innings.
It’s a plan that’s “smart on everyone’s part” after Arrieta has amassed more than 360 innings since the start of the 2015 season, Cubs veteran catcher David Ross told Brian Hanley and David Haugh on 670 The Score on Friday morning.
“He wants to get back to who he thinks he is and the form we believe he can pitch at,” Ross said. “He hasn’t been happy with his outings here lately. I think he just wants to hit the reset button.
“The end goal is to be as good as you can be come September, come October time when you’re in the playoffs and trying to make a run for a World Series. We need Jake at his best. We need everybody at their best.
Listen to Ross’ full interview below.