"i like it," Arrieta said. "I think it allows us to put a little speed behind me. I feel I can handle the bat well. Depending on the situation, I feel I can put a bunt down efficiently."
Arrieta feels comfortable with the bat in his hand, partially why manager Joe Maddon is considering batting the pitcher eighth in the order.
"It is the pitcher, and it seems like a break in the lineup, but we feel we can do some damage there and help us out," Arrieta said.
Arrieta cut back on weight training in favor of Pilates. He does the yoga workouts six days a week, which will improve his range of motion and stamina.
"A lot of guys are starting to get way from trying to jerk these heavy weights and throw all these heavy weights around," Arrieta said, per the Baltimore Sun. "Building strength is very important, but there are many ways to do that. That's why I got into Pilates because I can reduce the stress and impact in my joints while still being able to increase strength and flexibility, and it's going to pay dividends."
Arrieta also cut back on red meat and added a high concentration of fruits and vegetables, including kale juice.
"The first thing you have to do is understand the nutrients your body needs," Arrieta said. "The best way to get those sources of nutrition is from vegetables, nuts, beans and things that aren't processed."
Arrieta has a 2-1 record with a 5.40 ERA this spring.
"I just got into a couple situations there, a couple at-bats where I got behind in the count and served something up that was a little too hittable," Arrieta said to MLB.com. "They were able to get the ball in the air and strung some hits together."
He will use the next few days to work on his control.
"I just need to be a little more precise with things earlier in counts so I'm not in hitter-friendly counts in big situations, and moving forward, that's something I'll put emphasis on," Arrieta said.
"That was one of the points of emphasis going in," Arrieta said of his efficient outing. "Establish the fastball, sinker, moving in to righties especially. I threw some good breaking balls and stayed away from the changeup today to focus primarily on the cutter and the curveball, and they were both good."
Arrieta's repertoire of pitches forces batters to keep guessing. The Cubs plan on him being one of their three starters. He feels the same way.
"I was able to use [the curve] early in the count for early strikes and to set up a couple counts later in the game, third, fourth inning," he said. "I think I got one, maybe three on swings and misses. That's what I was looking for today, and just keeping the fastball down in the zone, and both of those areas were pretty crisp."
He gave up one hit, a home run, and three walks in two innings of work.
"Even now, I expect results. I punished myself a little bit running just because of the walks. It's just something I do to get better," Arrieta said to MLB.com.
Manager Joe Maddon has seen what Arrieta can do and knows he has a high level of play in him.
"The big thing with him was you'd hit those spurts when you couldn't touch him and then things would blow up, like maybe the fourth or fifth inning, but the stuff was always electric," Maddon said.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs Milwaukee|
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