Improving Arrieta eager to face hitters soon

Improving Arrieta eager to face hitters soon

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, slowed this spring because of tightness in his right shoulder, threw his second side session Sunday and is continuing to make progress.

"[I'm] spinning everything, everything's sharp, feel great, health's good," Arrieta said Monday. "I recovered today and feel great so far."

The next step for the right-hander is another bullpen session Wednesday of 60 pitches.

"I feel like I'm really close to being ready," Arrieta said. "Building up the endurance and pitch count is something that takes a little more time. We'll see how it goes. Every day has been really good. Still getting stronger. Just refining things is the most important part of the process now."

He'd like to face hitters Wednesday but Cubs manager Rick Renteria took a more conservative approach, saying it will only be a side session.

"We're close," Arrieta said. "We're getting there. I'm excited."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.