Veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo has been somewhat of a forgotten man this season, rehabbing with the Nationals after suffering a partial tear of a tendon in his right rotator cuff during Spring Training. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post provides an update on Arroyo, reporting that he was recently shut down for the season due to the fact that his elbow wasn’t able to bounce back between starts as well as he or the team had hoped. However, while there’s been talk that the longtime Reds right-hander would hang it up if this season didn’t go well, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the 39-year-old Arroyo (40 in February) is setting his sights on another comeback attempt in 2017 (links to Twitter).
Per Buchanan, Arroyo recently visited Dr. James Andrews’ clinic and received a stem cell treatment on his problematic elbow (notably, a different source of difficulties than his spring shoulder troubles). Arroyo will be shut down until November, but he plans to begin building strength back up at that point with the hope of latching on with another MLB club. Given the dearth of starting pitching on this year’s free agent market, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see another minor league deal for the veteran Arroyo, provided the stem cell treatment takes and he is able to demonstrate the ability to throw without pain.
Arroyo made just two appearances for the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate this season, totaling 9 2/3 innings of work while allowing five runs on 13 hits, two walks and two hit batters with eight strikeouts. It’s now been more than two calendar years since Arroyo’s last big league appearance, which came on June 15, 2014 as a member of the Diamondbacks. When it was announced that Arroyo would undergo Tommy John surgery a few weeks after that start, the longtime Reds workhorse revealed that he actually made an incredible six starts that season knowing full well that he had a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
If Arroyo ultimately is able to return to a Major League mound, he’ll enter the 16th Major League season of a very strong career that has, to date, resulted in 2364 2/3 innings of 4.19 ERA ball with a 145-131 record, 1526 strikeouts (5.8 K/9) and 642 walks (2.4 BB/9). Originally drafted and developed by the Pirates (third round, 1995), Arroyo has pitched for Pittsburgh, Boston, Cincinnati and Arizona over his lengthy career.