The Chicago Cubs are having a very up and down 2017 season. Every time the team looks like it’s about to turn the corner, there’s another setback. Pitching is a big part of the rollercoaster that has been their World Series defending season.

When it comes to the mystery of the Cubs and their struggles, Jake Arrieta might be the biggest of them all. The former Cy Young winner has struggled for most of the 2017 season despite the pitcher claiming he’s not sure why.

It turns out it appears the Cubs have been guarding an injury that goes all the way back to the spring.

The question now is why is Chicago still allowing their former ace to try and pitch through it. With everything that’s gone wrong it seems like putting Arrieta on the shelf and letting him heal would be the best solution for the season as a whole.

Chicago Cubs pitching staff in a shaky situation

The Cubs have already admitted that Arrieta has been pitching through injury for months. “It goes all the way back to spring training,” Bosio told ESPN on Friday afternoon. “It was just a lingering thing that never went away, and it’s progressively gotten worse.”

Chicago says the problem is a piece of open skin around the thumb on Arrieta’s pitching hand. The issue got worse before his most recent start.

The Cubs’ starter had to miss his usual workouts between starts. He didn’t manage to get out of the fifth inning.

Despite this fact, Chicago is currently attempting to put a positive spin on the situation. Cubs manager Joe Maddon believes not being able to do this extra work might keep Arrieta’s arm fresh longer. “Pitching as much as they have the last couple of years, to really curtail what you do between starts is not a bad thing,” Maddon claimed in a recent interview.

The problem with that excuse is that Arrieta has had a pretty poor season overall. The Cubs might not have a great option to fill in, but continuing to go with an injured pitcher isn’t working for them so far.

The Chicago Cubs could be hampering their playoff run

While the Cubs look for answers, at the moment it appears they’re just going with the status quo.

This is despite the fact the team knows Arrieta doesn’t have his best stuff.

Bosio says he doesn’t have the “normal flight on his pitches.” Bosio has said Arrieta wants to power through it but he can’t. If the Chicago Cubs know that’s the issue, it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense that they’re allowing him to try anyway. That decision could be one reason the team doesn’t make the playoffs in 2017.