Philadelphia Phillies: The Jake Arrieta Era was not worth it

Jake Arrieta was supposed to help lead the Philadelphia Phillies back to the postseason. Instead, he was another high priced disappointment.

Chances are, Jake Arrieta has thrown his last pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies. He had been placed on the Injured List on Wednesday due to a strained right hamstring, and may not be back even if the Phillies find their way into the postseason. It is a disappointing end as both Arrieta and the Phillies have disappointed this year.

This was not how the Arrieta-Phillies partnership was supposed to end up. He was supposed to bring the Phillies back to the postseason, pairing with Aaron Nola to lead the franchise back to glory. Signed to a three year deal worth $75 million, anything less would be a disappointment.

Instead, Arrieta and the Phillies were just that – disappointments. The Phillies have been two games under .500 since the start of 2018, and are on their second manager in that time. Their high prices signings just have not worked out.

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Arrieta, meanwhile, has not exactly thrived in the red pinstripes. In his three years in Philadelphia, he has posted a 22-23 record with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.387 WHiP. In his 352.2 innings, he struck out 280 batters with 124 walks.

Those numbers would have been perfectly acceptable for a middle to back of the rotation arm. In reality, that is what Arrieta is at the point in his career, an essentially league average pitcher who can eat innings. The problem is that the Phillies paid Arrieta as though he was an ace based on two stellar seasons in Chicago.

In theory, the Phillies can bring him back in both 2021 and 2022. They hold team options for both seasons at $22.5 million each year. But after a putrid 2020 season that saw Arrieta allow 25 runs on 51 hits and 16 walks in 44.1 innings, that money would be better spent elsewhere.

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The Jake Arrieta Error is likely over for the Philadelphia Phillies. With this trip to the Injured List, he has thrown his last pitch in the red pinstripes.