SATURDAY 10:55am: GM Mike Rizzo says Arroyo has partial tears in his rotator cuff tendon and there is inflammation in the area, MASN’s Dan Kolko reports (all Twitter links). Arroyo will be shut down for ten days to two weeks, at which point he’ll begin a program to strengthen his shoulder. The rehab process could take four to six weeks.
FRIDAY 8:33pm: The Nationals have told reporters, including MASNsports.com’s Mark Zuckerman (Twitter link), that tonight’s reports regarding Arroyo are “not consistent” with their findings. Nats brass, Arroyo and the club’s medical staff will have a meeting tomorrow.
7:17pm: The initial results of an MRI on Bronson Arroyo’s shoulder were, somewhat incredibly, misread by the doctor that evaluated him, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Arroyo does not have a tear of the rotator cuff in right shoulder, as he was initially told, but rather is suffering from bursa sac inflammation. Arroyo will be shut down for seven to 10 days, but he does not have the career-threatening injury he believed himself to be facing just yesterday. Notably, James Wagner of the Washington Post tweets that the first diagnosis came from a non-baseball doctor, so it was not the Nationals’ medical staff that provided the faulty results.
Earlier this week, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons reported that Arroyo had a tear in his labrum, and Arroyo himself spoke to reporters the following day to reveal that he’d been told the tear was actually in his rotator cuff. The veteran right-hander was said to be weighing whether to undergo surgery and rehab for another comeback attempt or call it a career.
The injury still seems to hinder Arroyo’s chances of making the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation, as another seven to 10 days without throwing would mean he can return to throwing with another seven to 10 days of Spring Training to get back up to speed. However, the very fact that Arroyo is not facing a devastating injury is a breath of fresh air. The well-liked and well-respected Arroyo has been hoping to break camp with the Nats and return to a Major League mound for the first time since the summer of 2014, when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and required Tommy John surgery.
Prior to that injury, Arroyo was baseball’s most durable starter. From 2005-13, Arroyo pitched in 300 games and averaged 211 innings per season, falling shy of the 200-inning milestone just one time, when he tossed 199 innings in 2011. Arroyo was not only durable, but effective, as he worked to a 4.10 ERA in that span despite pitching at the hitter friendly Great American Ball Park and despite the fact that many of those frames came during a much higher-scoring time period.