A decision has yet to be made, but the Phillies will need to decide soon if Jake Arrieta can continue to avoid elbow surgery and stay in the starting rotation. The pain of the right-hander’s bone spur was so severe Sunday night that he was unable to throw off-speed pitches.
Arrieta’s next rotation turn is on Saturday against San Diego. He lasted just three innings on Sunday in San Francisco and allowed five runs. The Phillies had a pitcher warming up before Arrieta recorded a single out. He said he has battled the marble-sized bone spur since last season, but the pain has increased in recent weeks.
He said after Sunday’s loss that he would have a conversation with the team on Tuesday. Arrieta declined to comment before the series opener against the Cubs.
“It hurts every day,” Arrieta said after Sunday’s start.
Arrieta has a 5.34 ERA in his last seven starts since he first revealed the bone spur. He has reached the sixth inning in just one of those starts. The Phillies will have to find a replacement if Arrieta has surgery. Zach Eflin could return from the bullpen, Enyel De Los Santos or Cole Irvin could be promoted from triple A, or veteran Dan Straily could be inserted into the rotation. The Phillies acquired the right-hander from Baltimore at the trade deadline and he has made two starts with triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The Phillies were without the services of public address announcer Dan Baker, who announced before Tuesday’s game that he would miss an “undetermined amount of games” because of a lingering oral and sinus infection.
Baker, who said he plans to return as soon as possible, missed games earlier this season because of a medical condition. He was replaced Tuesday night by former TV sports anchor Scott Palmer, the team’s director of public affairs.