PEORIA, Ariz. — One of the things that attracted the Arizona Diamondbacks to Bronson Arroyo was the pitcher’s durability.
Though now 37 years old, the right-hander has avoided the disabled list throughout his career and has pitched no fewer than 199 innings in any of the last nine campaigns.
Quite simply, if it was Arroyo’s turn in the rotation, he was going to pitch.
Except for Tuesday in Peoria against the San Diego Padres, as he was scratched with stiffness in his back.
“I didn’t see him, I think he’s still pretty jammed up,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said before Tuesday’s game.
The manager added that he knew Arroyo was not going to throw Tuesday, but other than that he’s not exactly sure what the timetable will be to get him back on the mound.
And while the issue may guarantee the veteran will not travel to Australia with the team in a couple weeks, his status for the regular season is not yet in doubt.
“At this point we’ve got a long ways to go,” Gibson said. “He’s never really had a history of missing starts so I feel confident he’ll be fine.”
Given that Arroyo is not slated to pitch during the team’s two-game series against the L.A. Dodgers in Australia, he has time to get the back right and prepare for the regular season. However, should Arroyo be unable to do so, it’s not as if the D-backs will have a shortage of early-season options to replace him.
After all, while Arizona wanted to upgraded its pitching staff with the signing of Arroyo, his arm may not have been needed with Randall Delgado and Archie Bradley on the roster and capable of sliding into the starting rotation.
Delgado, who got the start in place of Arroyo Tuesday, started 19 games for the D-backs last season, going 5-7 with a 4.17 ERA. Gibson said it’s not a bad thing to stretch Delgado out a bit more in case he’ll be needed in Australia, because the team can’t afford to bring pitchers who won’t be able to take the mound and help.
“Randall will do well today, Archie threw well last night, Bo Schultz threw well behind him, so we’ve got a lot of good options.”