SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — No one likes change, and Bronson Arroyo is no different.
A self-described “routine freak,” Arroyo was officially introduced by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday following the team’s first full squad workout and five days after news first broke of his impending signing.
He joins the D-backs after eight seasons in Cincinnati.
“It’s weird. It’s definitely weird for me,” Arroyo said of wearing a different uniform for the first time since 2006. “I’m a routine freak. I’m wearing 1999 Kenny Lofton shoes in the game still. I’m still pitching with a glove that I’ve had since the World Series in ’04 and I’m still carrying a flip phone.
“I don’t deal real well with change. I love something and I tend to stick with it a long time.”
The Diamondbacks had been looking for pitching depth, specifically a veteran starter, after losing out on the services of Japanese phenom Mashiro Tanaka. Their search led them to Arroyo, who has never been on the disabled list in 14 seasons.
“It’s probably a combination of a lot of things,” he said. “I probably have been fortunate to just to be born with a relatively healthy shoulder, having some space in there where things aren’t grinding against each other. Also, I’ve never been a hard thrower, so not having to pitch at max effort helps a lot…not having to go out there and feel like I’ve got to empty the tank every night, every pitch to get people out.”
Arroyo, who turns 37 on Feb. 24, also credited his upbringing “where my father had me in the weight room as a five-year-old kid, taking supplements and treating my body as we do as professional athletes, and I’ve been doing that for the last 30 years. I felt like he built a very good foundation for me to understand that this game is year-round.”
Arroyo wasted little time in getting acquainted with his new team and teammates.
Only hours after signing a two-year contract with a club option for 2016, Arroyo threw his first bullpen session, which drew an audience that included manager Kirk Gibson, pitching coach Mike Harkey and pitching consultant Dave Duncan.
Arroyo went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 32 starts last season.
The Diamondbacks hope his durability — at least 30 starts in each of the past nine seasons and at least 200 innings pitched eight times in that span — serves as an example to a pitching staff that is still relatively young.
“I come to the ballpark every day for the last 19 years, whether it was minor leagues or the big leagues and pack a lunch and try to be consistent in my personality and bringing some leadership by being healthy and showing people that coming to work hard every day pays off in the end,” Arroyo said.
“I’m happy to be here, and hopefully I can — knock on wood — stay as healthy as I’ve been as in the past.”