Arizona Diamondbacks' Bronson Arroyo may not be ready at start of season
So, 20 days between now and then, which is perhaps not enough time for right-handed pitcher Bronson Arroyo to be ready to open the season in the starting rotation.
"It's possible," manager Kirk Gibson said Tuesday.
Arroyo has been troubled by a stiff back. It first flared up just prior to what would have been his second start for the Diamondbacks on March 4. He was scratched from his scheduled start, and an MRI the next day revealed a bulging disk.
Arroyo, who received an epidural, played catch for a third straight day Monday but reported little improvement.
"We're probably considering slowing him down," Gibson said. "I don't want to push him early. We're looking for the longevity of when he gets going that he keeps going."
Arroyo, 37, has never been on the disabled list or missed a turn in the rotation, making at least 30 starts in each of the past nine seasons.
He signed a two-year contract with the D-backs on Feb. 7.
"Our thought process is, let's keep the pressure off him," Gibson said. "He's felt bad before and not been on the DL, so we know his make-up and his personality. He'd do almost anything to avoid that. That's not really how we want him to approach it at this point in the season. If it was September, maybe, but it's early in the season. Again, we want to get him right and get him throwing for the remainder and the duration."
The Diamondbacks do have options should Arroyo not be available. Randall Delgado and Josh Collmenter have starting experience, though Collmenter has not been stretched out. Then there is Archie Bradley, who has not allowed a run in 6.1 innings this spring.
The club would not need a No. 5 starter until April 4 at the Rockies.
"If (Arroyo is) not getting much improved, let's don't push him," Gibson said. "Let's just make sure he gets resolved."
Craig Grialou, Reporter
- Arizona Diamondbacks trade Gerardo Parra to Milwaukee Brewers for prospects Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda
- Eric Chavez announces retirement after 17 years in majors
- Arizona Diamondbacks take series from Cincinnati: By the Numbers
- D-backs GM Kevin Towers: If it makes our team better, we'll listen
- Diamondbacks shutout by Leake and co.: By The Numbers
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO - Thursday July 31D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall talks about the trade deadline.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday July 30ESPN MLB insider Tim Kurkjian discusses the MLB trade deadline.
- Kevin Towers- D-backs GM - Wednesday July 30Kevin Towers talks about the trade deadline and the state of the youth in the organization.
- Kirk Gibson- Dbacks manager - Tuesday July 29What else can Major League Baseball do to enforce the blocking the plate rule?
- Keith Law, ESPN MLB Insider - Tuesday July 29ESPN MLB Insider Keith Law gauges the value in the D-backs’ potential trade pieces.
- Derrick Hall - D-backs president and CEO - Thursday July 24Derrick Hall talks about the approaching trade deadline.
- Bickley Blast - Wednesday July 23Kirk Gibson could be close to being a part of another miracle.