CHICAGO | Jake Arrieta is coming up to join the Cubs' rotation on Friday, giving Chicago a chance to take a long look at the pitcher over the final part of the season.
The 27-year-old Arrieta was acquired in a July 2 trade with Baltimore. The right-hander has made one start with Chicago, pitching six effective innings in a 3-2 loss to Milwaukee on July 30. He is 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA in seven starts with Triple-A Iowa.
"We made the decision to bring Arrieta here and start here," manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday, citing the chance to have the 6-foot-4 right-hander work with pitching coach Chris Bosio and bullpen coach Lester Strode. "Pitch here, and see what we got."
Arrieta was selected by Baltimore in the fifth round of the 2007 draft. He is 20-25 with a 5.39 ERA in parts of four seasons, winning 10 games for the Orioles in 2011.
The move means Arrieta, Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson will start this weekend's games against St. Louis, and it also puts Carlos Villanueva back in the bullpen. The 29-year-old righty has split time between the bullpen and rotation in his first season with Cubs, compiling a 2-8 record with a 4.35 ERA in 32 games.
Villanueva struggled in his first relief appearance since the change, allowing three runs, two earned, and four hits in two innings during a 5-0 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday.
"You know it worked out he started pretty sharp, then a bouncing ball down the first-base line," Sveum said. "Another one down the third-base line. They weren't hit hard, just in the perfect spot down the line. A lot of those weren't even hit that hard, off the end of the bat. A bounce here or there and it's a different story."
Sveum thinks Villanueva can fill the relief role that was occupied by Matt Guerrier before he was placed on the 60-day disabled list last Thursday with right elbow soreness.
"Losing Guerrier, he can kind of be that guy in the sixth, seventh inning when we're winning and get people out," he said.
Guerrier is getting a second opinion from Reds team physician Dr. Timothy Kremchek, but is likely headed for surgery to repair a torn pronator muscle in his arm.
"Definitely disappointing. But this is one of those things I've been dealing with for almost two years now with some pain in that area," said Guerrier, who is eligible for free agency after the season.
In the 5-0 win by the Reds at Wrigley Field, Bronson Arroyo pitched seven crisp innings, Todd Frazier homered and the Reds completed a three-game series sweep.
Frazier also had one of Cincinnati's four run-scoring doubles as the Reds (68-52) earned their fourth consecutive win to move a season-high 16 games over .500. They improved to 13-3 against the Cubs this year, including a 9-1 mark at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs wasted a solid start by Chris Rusin (2-2) in their fourth straight loss. The left-hander allowed two runs and three hits while throwing just 76 pitches over six innings.