Baltimore Orioles: Pitcher Jake Arrieta Needs to Be Sent to the Minors

Alex SnyderContributor IIJune 9, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 8:  Jake Arrieta #34 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 8, 2012 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jake Arrieta has thrown just one good game over the course of the last month and a week.

Considering that Arrieta was the Orioles' Opening Day starter, and that the young man was supposed to step up and take on the role of being the club's ace this year, that's pretty pathetic.

It's getting to the point where Arrieta goes out there and even the fans expect him to get shelled. Heck, he may even expect that of himself right now.

I like Arrieta. He's got great stuff, and I honestly believe he can turn into a great pitcher. And because I like him so much, I want to see him go down to Triple-A.

Staying in the majors is doing him absolutely no good right now. Over the course of his last three outings, he's thrown 13 innings and given up a whopping 19 earned runs. During that time, his ERA has jumped from 4.72 to 6.32. Wow, just plain wow.

But the strange thing is, he's still showing the ability to get guys out and over power them, as evidenced by his June 3 start where he no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays through three before giving up four runs over the course of the next inning and two-thirds.

Or even yesterday's start against the Phillies, where he went four innings and gave up an insane nine earned runs. Somehow, in between all of those 11 hits against him, Arrieta managed to strike out five batters. Five K's over the course of four innings is nothing to scoff at.

Basically, Arrieta has the stuff and he has the skill. All he needs to do is harness that talent and become consistent with it. But we all know that that's a lot easier said than done.

A return to Triple-A would benefit Arrieta greatly right now. After last night's game, Arrieta was quoted as saying: "I'm just kind of lost right now," and that this was easily the toughest stretch of his career. MASN blogger Roch Kubatko also stated how Arrieta "has exuded confidence from the first day that he stepped inside a major league clubhouse in spring training."

Not anymore.

Clearly, Arrieta needs a confidence booster because the game of baseball is as much mental as it is physical. Being in a bad place mentally will almost certainly mean a poor showing on the field.

For that reason, Arrieta needs to return to Triple-A for at least a good four or five starts in order for him to regain his confidence and learn to better locate his fastball. Good pitching starts with good fastball command, and if Arrieta can figure that out and build up his confidence by dominating Triple-A competition, he can return to the bigs with a new air about himself.

Arrieta needs to return to the minors, for the good of the team, and for the good of himself.