clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Collins: Arrieta ‘near top of the list’ to start All-Star game

Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta celebrates with catcher David Ross after the final out of Arrieta's no-hitter against the Reds on April 21. | John Minchillo/AP

NEW YORK – With the news Thursday that Clayton Kershaw is on the Dodgers’ disabled list because of a back injury, this week’s Mets-Cubs series might suddenly have something more tangible at stake than bragging rights or alleged revenge motivations.

Mets manager Terry Collins, who will manage the National League All-Stars in the July 12 game, suggested Thursday he’s made his decision on the NL’s starting pitcher — with the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta and Mets’ Noah Syndergaard on his short list.

Arrieta (12-2, 2.10 ERA) starts Saturday, and Syndergaard (8-3, 2.49) starts Sunday — each with one more start just ahead of Collins’ official starter announcement July 11.

“There’s probably five really, really legitimate names who deserve to start the game,” Collins said before Thursday’s opener of the four-game series at CitiField. “Clayton was one of those names. And I can tell you Jake was right near the top of the list. I kind of like my guy a little bit, too.

“[Johnny] Cueto’s got great numbers, and [Madison] Bumgarner probably deserves a shot,” Collins added of the two Giants pitchers. “Certainly now with Clayton out of the mix, I’m just hoping that nobody else [goes down], because they deserve to be there, and people deserve to see them pitch.

“I kind of feel like I know who’s going to start the game, yeah.”

Collins rose from his seat almost as soon as those last words were out of his mouth and quickly left the interview room before anyone could get out a followup question.

Arrieta, the league’s reigning Cy Young winner, said he was sorry to see Kershaw get hurt and added that it would be an “honor” to get the call if he’s Collins’ choice.

For all his streaks, records and honors of the last year, it’s easy to forget that this will be Arrieta’s first All-Star selection, wherever he gets slotted in the pitching plans.

But he said he no longer spends deep thoughts on how dramatically his career has

turned for the better since being traded to the Cubs from Baltimore in 2013.

“I think I’m kind of over that,” he said. “I’ve addressed where I’ve come to this point. It’s a long way from where I used to be. I do understand that. But at the same time, I’ve put most of it behind me.

“It would be great [to start the All-Star game],” he said. “But most important to me ismy start Saturday and then [six] days after that. If it happens, it would be something special.”