At 39 years of age and coming off Tommy John surgery, most pitchers would have already called it a career, but Bronson Arroyo believed he still had something to offer someone. He signed a minor league deal with the Nationals in January hoping to make a comeback and if he couldn’t make the team out of spring camp maybe someone else would be interested. Unfortunately that comeback attempt hit a brick wall when the former Cincinnati Reds standout revealed today his playing days could be over.
The 15-year veteran said his rotator cuff is “significantly torn” and his only option is either rehab or retirement. He will not go under the knife again. It was feared that Arroyo suffered a torn labrum, but an enhanced MRI taken Wednesday showed the tear of the rotator cuff. According to MASN Sports, the Nationals said any reports of a tear are “premature” and that no decision about the pitcher’s future will be made yet.
Arroyo was originally drafted by the Pirates in the 3rd round of the 1995 amateur draft and broke into the majors in 2000 at the age of 23. He was plucked off waivers by the Red Sox prior to spring training in 2003 going 10-9 and 14-10 in two full seasons in Boston before being dealt to the Reds with cash for Wily Mo Pena where he would enjoy his best seasons. Overall, the right-hander is 145-131 in his career sporting a career 4.19 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
“The last start he was masterful,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker told reporters Wednesday. “That’s what kind of shocked us a little bit, how he didn’t respond. Because he appeared like he was in no pain. But you just don’t know. Especially as you get older, you don’t know how you’re going to respond between starts. That was the last test he had to pass.”
In two appearances this spring, one start, Arroyo allowed two runs on four hits in five innings with two walks and three strikeouts with a 3.60 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
“We’ll see if it might be something we could calm down and maybe try to rehab, but it’s probably going to be a long shot at this point,” Arroyo told MASN Sports this afternoon. “We’re just going to take a couple days to really look at it, let them analyze between the two comparisons and see if it’s the end of the game for me or not.”
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