Phillies' Jake Arrieta: Expects to pitch first week of season

Arrieta said Tuesday that he expects to be ready to pitch for the Phillies at some point during the first week of the season, Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports.

After remaining in the free-agent pool until agreeing to a three-year deal with Philadelphia on Sunday, Arrieta is behind the rest of his fellow pitchers and it doesn't look like he'll catch up in time to take the hill Opening Day, with those duties instead set to fall to Aaron Nola. However, it sounds like it won't take Arrieta much time beyond the opener before he's cleared to start, as the right-hander had kept him arm conditioned while he was unsigned by throwing 50-to-60-pitch bullpen sessions. Arrieta is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut in the coming days, after which there should be more clarity regarding his pitching schedule heading into the season.

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