#Cubs Arrieta honored at OD start

Jake Arrieta was honored to be named the Cubs’ Opening Day starter but downplayed the assignment.

“After Opening Day, we have 161 games left to play and that’s our concern,” Arrieta said Wednesday. “It is an honor, obviously. I was able to get an Opening Day start early in my career, during a different point in my career. It’s kind of a new chapter not only for myself but everybody here. We’re looking forward to the journey.

“We’re going to need five guys from start to finish to get to where we want to go, and we all know where that is.”

On Tuesday, manager Joe Maddon officially named the National League Cy Young winner as the Cubs’ Opening Day starter for the April 4 game against the Angels. It will be Arrieta’s second such assignment; he was the Orioles’ Opening Day starter in 2012.

Arrieta will make his first Cactus League start next week but the right-hander said if the Cubs’ season started now, he’d be ready.

“The only thing I need to work on now is refining secondary stuff and the emphasis is always commanding the fastball,” he said. “I’m in a good spot. … If the season started today, I’d be ready to go.”

— Carrie Muskat

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