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Any NL Hitters Scare Cubs Ace Jake Arrieta? 'Not Right Now'

(CBS) It's safe to say Cubs ace Jake Arrieta's confidence is sky high entering 2016.

Fresh off a Cy Young season in which he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA, Arrieta was asked on the Spiegel and Goff Show on Monday what opposing batter hit him a little too hard for his liking. Arrieta harkened back to his time with the Orioles in the American League, saying Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera "that guy's just incredibly talented, the way he handles the bat, his balance."

Arrieta was then asked the logical follow-up question: Who in the National League scares you?

It was basically crickets, with Arrieta then confirming co-host Jason Goff's assertion that no one scares him.

"Not right now," Arrieta quipped.

Arrieta, who turned 30 on Sunday, earlier explained why he has so much confidence. Since coming to the Cubs in mid-2013, he's 36-13 with a 2.26 ERA.

"I watch tape, and then from that point, I just focus on my strengths," Arrieta said. "Because I know if I execute pitches, regardless of who's at the plate, the outcome's going to be pretty good."

As 2016 gets underway, Arrieta's been receptive to the Cubs' desire to monitor his workload more closely. He tossed a career-high 248 2/3 innings in 2015 and has admitted he tired a bit at season's end, when he compiled a 3.66 ERA in three postseason starts.

After pitching eight or more innings on nine occasions in 2015 -- including five times in his final seven regular-season starts, Arrieta's open to letting the Cubs' bullpen finish more work for him.

"How I approached it earlier in my career was slightly selfish, kind of not knowing the ins and outs of the entire situation," Arrieta said. "Now I know, obviously, the most important innings I'm going to pitch are in October. So it's going to be a lot easier to have that conversation with Joe (Maddon) at the end of the sixth or seventh inning and say, 'Hey man, that's good for today -- let's move on to the next one.'"

Listen to Arrieta's full interview below.

Jake Arrieta on the Spiegel and Goff Show

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