The Cubs have yet to announce their rotation for the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile, which opens Friday against the Nationals in Washington. Arrieta has been bothered by a sore right hamstring since Sept. 4, but he was expected to be one of the Cubs' four starters if he's healthy.
"We don't want to push him now and we thought we could control him more in a side [session]," manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday, prior to a workout at Wrigley Field. "There's no way to replicate a real game other than a real game. We thought a more controlled environment, meaning a bullpen as opposed to a simulated game, [will be better]. ... He's feeling fine right now."
Maddon will meet Wednesday with pitching coach Chris Bosio, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer to discuss their NLDS rotation and roster.
"We're still in the process of talking to everybody," Maddon said.
Either Jon Lester or Kyle Hendricks was expected to start Friday in Game 1 of the best-of-five series. Jose Quintana also is in the mix. Maddon said they have yet to decide what role John Lackey will have, whether he'll start or be in the bullpen.
"We have not concluded anything yet," Maddon said.
The Cubs also have yet to decide if they will carry 11 or 12 pitchers.
• Maddon met with the players prior to Tuesday's workout, one of his three meetings over the course of the season. He also talks to the players in Spring Training and at the All-Star break.
"I just tried to pragmatically lay out the season, congratulated them on the way we came back from the deficit at the All-Star break and the fact we did have the best record in the second half," Maddon said of his message on Tuesday. "[I told them] I always had the confidence in them that we would turn into the team that we have."
The reigning World Series champions shouldn't be wide-eyed going into the postseason.
"That's not to say things can't go sideways, but you have a better knowing of what to expect," Maddon said. "I don't want us to be satiated, satisfied with anything that's happened in the past. I want us to be eager, hungry as we move forward.
Both teams have the same data information, the same breakdown on players. What's the difference?
"I talk about the heartbeat, and I mean that sincerely, and I want our guys to play the game fundamentally better than they do," Maddon said. "And if that's the case and we're good, we'll win."
• "I'm counting on the fact that we're on a good run the way we're playing baseball, I think we're in a good place mentally, I think our confidence is up. We're facing a real good team with real good pitching. Our guys know what to expect right now. I really believe we're going to be ready on Friday, regardless of who they pitch. I think our guys will be ready for the task." -- Maddon
• The Cubs had new postseason caps and hoodies, and Maddon raved about the sweatshirt material. The message on the front of the hoodie says, "Take 17."
"Everybody thinks it's about KB," Maddon said of Kris Bryant, who wears No. 17.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.