Bronson Arroyo has never, in his 15-year career, had to spend a single moment on the disabled list. That is until now. The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Monday that the 37-year old Arroyo was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow.
He had 369 consecutive starts prior to this latest development, the second longest among active pitchers in the majors. Only the Toronto Blue Jays’ Mark Buehrle has more (443).
During spring training it looked as though Arroyo might have to start the season on the disabled list due to an inflamed disk in his back, but the veteran fought through it like he had fought through potential injuries so many times before.
However, Arroyo had been struggling to regain some of the strength lost during the back injury. Finally seeming to have done so he put up quality starts for the D-Backs in the past month. Arroyo went 3-0 in his last three starts.
Sadly, and it really is tragic to see this happen, this time Arroyo was unable to push through the soreness in his throwing elbow. Not only painful, the injury was causing a drop in his velocity thus decreasing the effectiveness of his pitches. He’d been getting hitters out using movement to deceive them once it was clear his fastball had dropped in velocity from the upper 80’s to the lower 80’s. That is a testament to what has probably helped make Arroyo one of baseball’s most durable pitchers in recent memory, being able to pitch effectively regardless of his velocity.
Arroyo talked about the injury telling azcentral.com,
“I can’t keep going out there and putting different inflammatory (medicines) in my body and beating myself down because I can just see the arm is going south. If it would have stayed the same as it was five to six starts ago I could deal with the pain, but it continues to get more swollen. I’m waking up every day not being able to touch a ball for two to three days. I’ve been avoiding this day for two decades, doing a bunch of meticulous, small things to try to stay here … but it’s just getting impossible to keep going.”
Arroyo signed a 2-year $23.5 million contract over the off-season hoping to help stabilize an ailing Diamondbacks’ rotation. Their ace Patrick Corbin is out for the season with Tommy John surgery. Also, their first choice to replace Arroyo in the rotation, prospect Archie Bradley, is currently rehabbing from his own elbow strain.
The D-Backs do have a couple of other options to replace Arroyo in the rotation in Mike Bolsinger and Zeke Spruill, each of whom made starts for the team earlier in the season. The results of those starts, however, were lackluster at best. For now Roger Kieschnick from Triple-A Reno will fill Arroyo’s spot on the roster.