"I don't necessarily want to make a decision right now," Arrieta said Sunday after giving up five runs and seven hits to the San Francisco Giants, per Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We'll have the off-day [Monday] and maybe have a conversation on Tuesday."
That assumption proved false.
Arrieta, 33, has struggled in the 2019 season, going 8-8 with a 4.64 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 110 strikeouts in 135.2 innings (24 starts). He's continued to struggle since winning the 2015 Cy Young Award, and he hasn't resembled that once-dominant pitcher in his two-year stint with the Phillies.
His loss for any period of time is a major blow to a Phillies team that has struggled immensely in the pitching department. While Aaron Nola has continued his ascension into ace status after a rocky start to the season, players like Arrieta, Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez and Jared Eickhoff have all been poor behind him.
Add in a bullpen that has been shaky as well, and the Phillies pitching staff is a real issue. That's especially disappointing given the team's lineup—led by Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, J.T. Realmuto, Jay Bruce, Cesar Hernandez and Scott Kingery—continues to produce.
If the Phillies are going to secure a postseason berth, they'll need someone else in the rotation to step up next to Nola. Arrieta's injury all but makes that a necessity.