Workout plan altered for Chicago Cubs' Arrieta
Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta will not throw a simulated game Wednesday after all.
Manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday that Arrieta instead would throw a bullpen session and not face hitters on the field during the second and final workout at Wrigley Field before the team travels to Washington for the National League division series.
Arrieta suffered a strained right hamstring during his Labor Day start at Pittsburgh. He pitched twice since then, but he lasted only 3 innings last week at St. Louis and said the injury had forced him to change things in his delivery.
"It's just an indication that we don't want to push him right now," Maddon said of the change in plans. "We thought we can control it more in a side piece as opposed to the sim game, which we didn't think was impactful."
When asked about a bullpen session not being a "real game," Maddon replied: "A sim game's not a real game either. There's no way to replicate a real game other than a real game.
"So we just thought we chose a more controlled environment, meaning bullpen as opposed to that, simulated game. Primarily, the simulated game, a lot of it is more for the hitters than it is the guy pitching, quite frankly.
"This time of the year, the hitters want to hit against the pitchers more than the pitchers need to throw to the hitters. We just wanted to make sure we were able to monitor Jake moving forward, but he's feeling fine right now."
The Cubs are evaluating their Wednesday plans because of possible rain. Jose Quintana has been scheduled to throw a simulated game, but that could change as well.
Brief and to the point:
Joe Maddon isn't big on meetings, but he talked to his troops as the postseason is upon them.
"Just tried to pragmatically lay out the season," he said. "I congratulated them on the way we came back from a deficit at the all-star break and the fact that we did have the best record in the second half. Really a tribute to our guys, mental toughness as much as anything else.
"Really relying on experience right now. Experience equals knowing. I think that's really important to understand."
Veteran infielder Ben Zobrist has been through this with Maddon before, both with the Cubs and at Tampa Bay.
"Joe always does that meeting, right before the postseason," he said. "It's one of the things he's done throughout his career. It's just his way of preparing us and getting us mentally ready."
The Cubs are expected to officially announce their starting pitchers for Games 1 and 2 of the NLDS at Washington. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks and lefty Jon Lester are at the top of the list.
Right-hander John Lackey, the Cubs' No. 5 starter, pitched an inning out of the bullpen Sunday and is a good bet to be on the postseason roster as a long man, but Joe Maddon said no decisions have been made.