Cubs ace Jake Arrieta reveals secret to his phenomenal career turnaround
Jake Arrieta appeared that he was well on his way to a serviceable — but not spectacular — major league career. The hard-throwing righty notched a 20-25 record with a 5.46 ERA in his first four big-league seasons with the Orioles.
An in-season trade the Chicago Cubs in 2013 seemed to make all the difference as Arrieta began to show signs of dominance. Then he racked up one of the greatest second halves a pitcher has ever had last season, going 12-1 with a 0.75 ERA to capture his first Cy Young.
Many believed Arrieta making a change to where he stood on the rubber, standing on the third-base side, was the reason for his phenomenal turnaround with the Cubs.
But it was more than just that. The Cubs star revealed to Sports Illustrated that taking up Pilates also led him to his new-found success.
Arrieta told SI that he started to take Pilates after the 2013 season with his wife, Brittany. He was hooked after his first session with instructor Liza Ebedor, telling her, "We need to train together. This is life-changing."
"It’s an incredible experience," Arrieta told SI. "Pilates has been around a long time but maybe was taboo in this sport. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see a reformer in every big league clubhouse."
Arrieta, who went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA in 2015 to help the Cubs reach the playoffs , said the exercise routine allowed him greater control over his movements.
"What I noticed from Pilates last year was that I have much better control of my body," Arrieta said. "I repeat my delivery consistently. My balance is much improved. And the mental and physical toughness Pilates requires to complete movements the correct way have directly helped me on the mound."