Remember starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo?
Of course you do. The long hair. The long-time durability. The distinctive leg-kick in his windup. Even the occasional power at the plate (six career HR).
Arroyo wants to make an MLB comeback in 2017, even though he’s had multiple arm injuries in the past few years, hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since 2014 and will turn 40 years old this coming spring training.
Then there’s this:
Arroyo is shut down until November, but plans to give a comeback another go in the spring. He’ll be a free agent this offseason. (2/2)
— Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) September 9, 2016
It’s interesting to compare Arroyo’s career through 2013 to what became of it since.
A model of durability for years, Arroyo worked at least 199 innings every season from 2005-13. He led the majors with 240 2/3 innings in 2006. Even when he was knocked around the yard — he was very susceptible to the long-ball — he was always reliable to take the ball every fifth day. Sometimes Arroyo was held up as some model or how throwing more often could prevent arm injuries instead of coddling them. After all, he’d never even ended on the disabled list with any type of soreness. Not even the 15-day minimum.
Then in 2014 at age 37, he tore his UCL and needed to undergo Tommy John surgery. Going through the recovery, he wasn’t able to pitch in 2015 and it appears that problems with his elbow have continued through 2016. Per Janes, Arroyo went through both shoulder and elbow issues in 2016:
… after being diagnosed with inflammation in the tendons of his shoulder, Arroyo began the season in Viera rehabbing. He never got out of Florida. The shoulder did not derail his comeback attempt. His surgically repaired right elbow, which underwent Tommy John surgery and cost him the 2015 season, cost him the 2016 season, too.
Further, since throwing his last MLB pitch, Arroyo’s been involved in two of the weirdest MLB transactions.
On July 30, 2015, he was part of a 13-player trade between three teams that has since seen six players already change teams. Only nine days before that, he was thrown into a trade that most in the scouting community considered inexplicable at the time.
So since Arroyo last saw action in the majors, he’s been traded twice in oddball deals and been a member of four different organizations.
Oh, and he also made $14 million in 2015-16 combined.
Overall, Arroyo is 145-131 with a 4.19 ERA (103 ERA+), 1.29 WHIP and 1526 strikeouts in 2364 2/3 career innings. He pitched in parts of 15 seasons and made over $95 million. If he can’t come back, it’s been a very long and admirable career. If he can? That will make for a pretty fun comeback story.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Bronson Arroyo still looking to come back in 2017 despite not pitching since 2014