Jake Arrieta and Gabe Kapler

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kapler: 'Arrieta at 85 percent' is our best option

Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team
July 10, 2019 - 9:40 am

Jake Arrieta has a bone spur in his right elbow and will reportedly "likely" need surgery at some point

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Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told Angelo Cataldi, however, that Arrieta will make his next scheduled start this weekend vs. the Nationals. 

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"Jake's elbow is limiting his ability to get into certain positions, so to some degree yes," Kapler said on Wednesday, when asked if the bone spur is one of the reasons Arrieta is struggling.

"He's having a harder time getting extended the way he normally does, especially on that curveball. This is limiting his ability to throw the ball where he wants to throw it. All of that said, Jake is a competitor and for the Phillies, it's always worth considering if Jake at 85 percent of himself is a better option than what we have at Triple-A. It's not terribly uncommon for veteran pitchers to successfully pitch with issues like this one. So as of now, Jake will make his start of us against the Nationals and we're going to support him."

Kapler admitted Arrieta's next start will go a long way in determining his long-term status. 

"Yeah, we'll get some scans and we'll take a look," Kapler said of Arrieta's long-term status. "I think what will give us the best indication is how he feels in his next start."

Arrieta, 33, has been struggling since joining the team and especially of late. This season, in 18 starts, he is 8-7 with a 4.67 ERA, 1.463 WHIP, and a 2.13 strikeout / walk ratio. On Saturday, Arrieta allowed 11 hits and five earned runs over just 4.1 innings. He hasn't pitched more than 6.0 innings in a start since May 25th. 

As Kapler noted, the injury is affecting his curveball. 

Arrieta, who signed a three-year deal worth $75 million with the Phillies last season, has a $20 million player option for 2020 and a club option in 2021. 

At 47-43, the Phillies enter the second half of the season 6.0 games back of the Braves in the NL East and in the second NL wildcard spot, 0.5 game back of the Nationals. The Phillies host the Nats for a three-game series beginning on Friday.