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Cubs' Arrieta says past workload impacting performance

theScore

Since arriving in Chicago by way of Baltimore in 2013, Jake Arrieta has increasingly seemed like a workhorse starting pitcher.

In his first three seasons with the Cubs, Arrieta threw 583 innings - an average of 194 per season - with a high of 229 in 2015. That just happened to be the year he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA en route to winning his first Cy Young Award.

That workload has taken its toll. He told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that his volume of use has played a role in his slow start to the 2017 season.

"As much as we don't want to say that it carries over from season to season, throwing almost 500 innings over the past two years, I think it did have some effect," Arrieta said.

"I'm not hurt or injured. It's just that I think my body has reacted accordingly and it's taken a little bit longer to regain the form that I would like to be in."

Arrieta has failed to get through the fifth inning in consecutive starts for the first time since May 2014. In fact, Arrieta had managed to complete at least five innings in every regular-season start over the last two seasons. He's failed to do so four times this year.

And despite his fastball velocity being down to 91.8 mph from 93.6 a season ago, according to Fangraphs, Arrieta is confident that if he can locate his pitches he will once again find the success that transformed him into an ace when he landed at Wrigley.

"The delivery is close to where I'd like it. I'm really commanding the ball glove-side, fastballs to my glove side, whether it's in to lefties or away to righties. With my delivery, if I command that pitch, it'll make it difficult on guys."

The right-hander also told Rosenthal about a family health issue. His mother-in-law, Debbie Andrews, had undergone a pair of brain surgeries over the last six months. Arrieta said this has not impacted his game, and that she has recovered "extremely well."

Arrieta, a free agent following the season, is seen as one of the top pitching commodities set to enter the open market. While he'll command a hefty price tag, he's currently 6-5 with a 4.64 ERA in 77 2/3 innings.

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