For the third time in three years, Jake Arrieta gets to start Friday’s Orioles’ home opener. A year ago, it was the season opener, and Arrieta was brilliant in holding the Minnesota Twins to two hits in seven innings.

The rest of the season wasn’t as good, and Arrieta was in the minor leagues by midseason. Now, Arrieta is back with a third home opening assignment in a row.

“I think one of the main things I think about is being in the position to have those types of opportunities. To be able to have multiple opportunities and have the trust and the faith from the organization, the staff, it’s a very humbling feeling to be in this position,” Arrieta said.

“I think the most important thing is my preparation and my awareness of the situation is better than it ever has been, and I think that’s what makes it more special.”

Last year, Arrieta was sent to the bullpen for a time, and then he went back to the starting rotation. He doesn’t feel the opportunity was one he failed to exploit, even though the year was a disappointment.

“Not at all. Everything I progressed through last year was just part of my development. It’s never guaranteed that things are going to come easy, that things are going to be easy, and to have to overcome things at the highest level, are tough, they’re very tough,” Arrieta said.

Pitching coach Rick Adair thinks that there will be a different Arrieta in 2013.

“He’s much improved this year from last year, and last year he was improved from the year before. He’s come a long way in really having a good understanding about himself. Not being on the roster for the playoffs last year really got to him. He’s on a mission to prove he belongs, to stay in our rotation to help us win. He’s got that mindset,” Adair said.