Boston Red Sox should take a chance on Bronson Arroyo

Former Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo is attempting to return from injury for the 2017 season. He hasn’t pitched since 2014, but Boston should take a look.

Former Boston Red Sox starter Bronson Arroyo says he’s not hanging up the cleats just yet. Over the weekend, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo mentioned Arroyo’s status in his notes column. The right-hander who made a career on being a reliable, efficient back-of-the-rotation guy finally had his luck run out in the middle of the 2014 season as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arroyo ended up having to undergo Tommy John surgery after admitting that he had been pitching with discomfort and discovering that he had torn ligament in his elbow. These days it seems that everyone is having Tommy John and comes back better than ever. That wasn’t the case for Bronson. He was 37 years old but figured since this was his only setback in his career, he would bounce back. Unfortunately, while on a rehab assignment with his new club in Washington Nationals, he ended up injuring his rotator cuff.

Cafardo says that Arroyo went to well-renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, but instead of going under the knife again, instead they opted to treat the elbow with a stem-cell technique. Now Arroyo says he mentally wants to go, but won’t know if the stem cell procedure actually worked until later in the offseason. Cafardo quoted Arroyo as saying:

“In three or four weeks I should know if I’m healthy. I definitely want to keep going. Baseball is in my DNA. I think when you’re in my position, you have to give it every chance, seeking everything medically available to see if you can keep doing it. The stem-cell injection was the last hope. If it doesn’t work, I know I’ve given it every chance.”

That doesn’t exactly sound too promising, but if he is actually able to make it back, I think Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox definitely need to kick the tires on Arroyo. In 2004 and 2005, Arroyo went a combined 24-19 for Boston with 384 innings pitched, 242 total strikeouts and an ERA of 4.27. He’s been in the National League ever since Boston then traded him to the Reds before the 2006 season.

His career numbers are solid – 145-131 in 405 total games with an ERA of 4.19 and a WHIP of 1.292. Arroyo was never a one or a two in any team’s rotation, but he was always there every fifth day to get the most out of his arm. Now that reliability may be an issue due to injury, his usefulness certainly takes a hit. Still, I don’t see the harm in giving him a shot.

This past season was a microcosm in just how important every single arm can be for a team that is the hunt. The Red Sox lost effective knuckleballer Steven Wright later in the year, and the guy that everyone was clamoring for them to trade in Clay Buchholz became crucial to their success.

It would cost next to nothing to bring Arroyo in on a Minor League, prove yourself kind of deal. He will be 40 years old by the time spring training rolls around and is not expecting to make a good deal of money. He’s in it to prove he can still compete. He’s already proven that he can handle the Boston market, and in fact, loved the atmosphere at Fenway.

The Red Sox need depth, both for their rotation and the bullpen. In fact, Arroyo made be a candidate for middle relief to eat up a couple innings here and there. After Arroyo signed what he considered a “hometown discount” to remain with Boston only to be traded a short time after, the least the Sox could do is bring him in to see if he can still hang.

More from Arroyo in Cafardo’s notes:

“I think I’ve accomplished everything. I was an All-Star, I won the most coveted championship ring ever, and I pitched for a long time. I don’t want it to end yet. That’s why I’m trying everything I can to stay in.”

I hope he does “stay in”, and I hope Boston gives him a shot to do so.

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