Last week, following a win he earned against the Houston Astros, Bronson Arroyo told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, “My elbow has been killing me for probably the last five or six starts.”
Arroyo, who has never missed a start due to injury, was hoping to gut it out until the All-Star break, where he could then give his ailing right elbow some rest.
Following his outing Sunday in Los Angeles — where he allowed just one run in five innings in yet another win — Arroyo’s tune hadn’t changed, as he’s frustrated by an inability to throw the ball hard.
“Been going out there throwing the ball about 80-84, and 84 is when I’ve been feeling sexy, which is ridiculous,” he said. “I’m just getting outs on location and just being comfortable enough in that environment to throw a bunch of slop up there and get guys out.”
D-backs skipper Kirk Gibson acknowledged that his pitcher is hurting, saying Arroyo took himself out of Sunday’s game after just 78 pitches.
“When he came in after the fifth inning, he said he was done. He couldn’t do anymore. I’m not sure he’s going to be able to make his next start.”
That would likely mean Arroyo making his first career trip to the disabled list, with the duration of his stay being undetermined.
“We’re going to take a look at my arm I think,” Arroyo said of what’s in store for him. “It’s just slowly sliding downhill a little bit and it’s just getting to the point where I, when I was throwing like 83 to 87 it was manageable, but it’s slowly sliding downhill.
“Might be facing the inevitable for the first time in two decades.”
It would be a tough blow to the 37-year-old, who is 7-4 with a 4.08 ERA in the first year of a three-year contract signed before the season, especially given how much of his career has been based on his durability.
But Arroyo seems ready to accept a DL stint if that’s what the team’s doctors decide needs to happen.
“I’m sure they’re going to want to take a look at, see what’s going on in there, which I’m pretty positive will be nothing but a bunch of swelling,” he said. “But I think it’s just going to need some rest.
“I can’t keep beating on it. I’ve been trying to avoid this for 20 years and I’m just at the end of the rope right now.”