Chicago Cubs: Pitcher Jake Arrieta wins first Silver Slugger Award

The Chicago Cubs continue to add to their impressive amount of postseason hardware. Shortly after Anthony Rizzo snagged his first, pitcher Jake Arrieta joined him with his first Silver Slugger Award.

Based on the numbers, Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Jake Arrieta had a “down” year following his 2015 Cy Young winning campaign. But it was still a solid season on the bump for Arrieta. But that wasn’t going to keep him from taking home some postseason hardware. Arrieta claimed his first Silver Slugger, voted on by players and coaches from their league. The players and coaches cannot vote for a player on their own team.

Arrieta matched his home run total from last year with two, but saw his batting average rise from from .152 to .262 this year. The rest of his line was quite impressive as well (.304 OBP/.415 SLG/.720 OPS). He drove in seven runs while drawing four walks. Arrieta also cut down on his strikeouts, whiffing just 28 times compared to 45 in 2015.

It was an impressive year not just for Arrieta, but the Cubs pitchers at the plate as a whole. The staff drove in 27 runs, hit 10 doubles and even a triple from who else? Arrieta. But Jon Lester drove in six runs. Jason Hammel drove in seven and batted .246. And Travis Wood had the first home run by a reliever as he went yard in the 5-2 win over the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 of the NLDS.

Counting on your pitchers isn’t always part of the plan, but the Cubs have always taken their at-bats seriously. And while the talk of the DH is always in the news–especially with a hitter like Kyle Schwarber–the pitchers continue to make a case for why the two league’s uniqueness needs to stay that way.

I’ve been anti-DH my entire life, and will continue that for the rest of it. At this point, I’m fine with the American League having it. Interleague play wasn’t my favorite move by Major League Baseball. But playing by the home team’s rules gave them a unique fell–it kept it interesting. For now, the Cubs are neutralizing the AL’s DH advantage.

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