Texas Rangers: Plano East
The former Plano East and TCU pitcher’s request list was full of tickets for friends and family. But it’s the chance to see fans who followed him through high school and college or a familiar purple Horned Frogs hat that makes his only homecoming trip of the season special.
“It brings back memories of college baseball and growing up as a kid,” Arrieta said. “A lot of the supporters of TCU in Fort Worth an the DFW area come out to support myself … It’s a good feeling to come back and play.”
After his high school career at Plano East, Arrieta elected to stay close to home and pitch for TCU. He was the Mountain West Co-Pitcher of the Year and a second-team All-American in 2006. When the Orioles came calling in the fifth round of the 2007 draft, Arrieta left TCU to chase his pro dreams.
Arrieta, who is in his second year in the majors, is tied for 10th in wins with nine and has a 4.74 ERA. Since being called almost exactly a year ago, Arrieta said his experience has been a constant work in progress.
“I think it’s made a lot of progress,” He said. “Last year I was able to make some big adjustments toward the end of the year, things that really allowed me to be successful consistently at this level, and I’ve been able to carry that over for the most part.”
Added Orioles manager Buck Showalter: “We like the makeup and the way he takes care of himself. Jake’s got a chance to be pretty good, but it’s going to be up to him. It’s not a stuff question. It’s if he can execute.”
Arrieta is not scheduled to make an appearance in Arlington in the Orioles' only series with the Rangers at home, but he said he loves the feeling of being on the field at the ballpark he grew up idolizing.
“To be one of the select few who gets to grow up watching the game of baseball in the venue where you watch so many games as a kid -- being able to play here is very special,” Arrieta said. “It’s the exact same stadium I came to growing up. I have a lot of good memories here and pitching against guys like Michael Young is very surreal.”
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Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
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Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and wastes no time sounding off on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.
Play Podcast Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland joins GAC from Milwaukee to discuss what it was like facing former teammate Scott Feldman, Texas' upcoming series and more.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Milwaukee for his weekly visit and discusses Nick Tepesch, the Rangers' rotation, interleague play and more.