When right-hander Jake Arrieta returns to Triple-A Norfolk, he will do so in a starting role with the Tides – for now.
“We constantly look at things with guys with really good arms like Jake,” Showalter said. “If he gets the ball down, he’s effective. How do you do it? Is it delivery? Is it a mentality? We’ve talked about all those things and we will continue. Let him get there. I know he’s going to start his next outing and at some point we will probably step back and see where we are with it. I want to get him back on good ground.”
Arrieta, who was the Orioles’ Opening Day starter last season and won the fifth rotation spot this year, has struggled mightily at the big league level. He was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk following a spot start Monday in Detroit, allowing five runs on 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings against the Tigers in a 5-1 loss. In five major league starts this season, Arrieta is 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA and hasn’t recorded a start of more than five innings.
“Jake knows he’s capable of better and he also knows it’s not good enough,” Showalter said. “He showed us some things up here when he was down and what he has to do to be effective. I have some personal ideas about it, but I don’t think we’re there or we’re going to go broadcasting it.”
Arrieta has also struggled at Norfolk, having allowed 15 earned runs in his past two starts there. He is 3-3 with a 5.50 ERA in seven games (six starts) at Triple-A this season.
When Arrieta struggled last season and was sent to Norfolk, the Orioles used him out of the bullpen when he returned last September and he held opposing batters to a .208 batting average in six relief starts.