D-backs get good news on Arroyo
MAR 07, 2014 7:21p ET
PHOENIX -- Bronson Arroyo has this thing about starts. He refuses to miss one. Even after taking an epidural for a herniated L5/S1 disk in Philadelphia in May of 2011, Arroyo was on the mound four days later. It is the reason he believes a recent disk flareup this spring will not be a issue when the regular season arrives.
"It's nothing new, man. I've been dealing with this for 13 years," Arroyo said.
Arroyo said he could not pick up his left leg and could not bend over Tuesday, when he was an injury scratch for the first time in his career -- regular season or spring training. The D-backs said at the time that Arroyo would not do much for the next 7-10 days. But by Friday, Arroyo was talking about playing catch Saturday and getting back into a game shortly thereafter.
"As bad as it was a couple of days ago, you definitely don't want that during the season, because you are probably not going to make a start," Arroyo said.
"I've gone through this every year. I've had to pitch with it as stiff as it is today, at least a couple of times during a season. It's just a constant battle of trying to feel good and your body not wanting to feel good. It's just what we do. Even in your young days, that's what it is. When you get older you have to be more meticulous about it. I've made every one of my big leagues starts, and it wasn't because I felt good every time. You find ways to get out there."
The news on Arroyo was so positive that the D-backs could put other alternatives on the back burner, at least for the time being. The D-backs do have plenty of options if Arroyo is not ready for the start of the regular season. Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill, who will start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sydney, Australia, on March 22-23, could return to the rotation early against the Giants. Randall Delgado, Archie Bradley and Josh Collmenter also could make a spot start early in the season.
The organizational thinking at this point seems to be that if Arroyo is close to rejoining the rotation early in the season, Delgado could pick up a start or two until he returns. Delgado has been stretched out as a starter this spring and made 19 starts last season. If the D-backs believe Arroyo's absence will be lengthy, however, they could turn to top prospect Bradley, who is to make his second spring start against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium today.
"It will all be considered," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We have options with guys that have good stuff and/or with guys who have experience."
Personal history suggests a quick recovery for Arroyo. He received epidurals when his disk acted up in 2008 and 2011, and each time the back responded positively.
"I've been particularly lucky in that when things like this have happened to me, it has been at times when it didn't matter," Arroyo said. "I'm glad it blew up now, because in the other times it has blown up, I haven't had a back-to-back blowup, so hopefully that is a good sign that we can keep it healthy from here on out and get after it.
“It's nothing new, man. I've been dealing with this for 13 years. ... I've made every one of my big leagues starts, and it wasn't because I felt good every time. You find ways to get out there.”
Arroyo said he would like to get four more spring starts to be ready for the regular season. Arroyo would be able to make four more starts and still remain on track to to appear in the March 31-April 2 series against the San Francisco Giants if he was back on the mound on or before next Thursday.
"I think I'll have enough time get that in," he said. "It will be a little bit closer than I want it to be, but we also started a little bit earlier."
Arroyo, who has made 332 starts since 2004, has never been on the disabled list.
"He is much improved. I don't have a timetable when he is going to get on the mound, but pretty encouraged right now," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "When we get to the end of spring training, if he doesn't feel good, we'll push him back. We know he doesn't want to to on the DL, but it he has to, he has to."