If you’ve been following Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta on social media, you may have already seen his fresh new look.
Yesterday, Arrieta’s wife Brittany Arrieta posted a picture on Twitter with a clean-shaven Jake who has become so well-known for his facial hair that the phrase “Fear the Beard” has been used to describe the pitcher since winning the Cy Young Award in 2015.
According to WGN, however, this has become a sort of off-season ritual for Arrieta, as he has done the same after the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Cubs fans are a bit apprehensive with anything Arrieta-related as he is now a free agent who may not sign back with the Cubbies.
“Hopefully, it’s not a goodbye; it’s a thank you, obviously,” Arrieta said after a sterling effort during the Cubs’ 3-2 victory over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS last Wednesday night, in reference to tipping his hat as he left the field.
Considering the star’s price-tag and if the Cubs are able to afford it, Arrieta may find himself pitching for a different team in 2018.
This past season, Arrieta went 14-10 with an ERA of 3.53. In two post-season starts, he only allowed one run in 10 2/3 innings and threw 13 strikeouts.