Bronson Arroyo: Is He Back from the Disaster That was 2011?

By Jeff Gray

Bronson Arroyo has been a steady figure in the Cincinnati Reds rotation since they acquired the high-kicking right hander from the Boston Red Sox back in 2006.  From 2006 to 2010, Arroyo compiled a respectable 70 and 60 record and had an ERA of 4.00.  His best year for the Reds came in 2010 when he won 17 and lost 10. 

However, last season (2011) Bronson Arroyo just wasn’t himself.  He began the year weak and was finally diagnosed with mononucleosis, which took forever for him to recover, only to struggle with a back injury for the rest of the year.  Amazingly, though, he did not miss a start and pitched 199 innings for the Reds.  Because of the ailments he endured, he ended up with a record of 9 and 12, an ERA of 5.07 and lead the league in homeruns allowed and earned runs (46 and 112 respectively).

The 2012 season for Bronson Arroyo has been a different story so far.  He says he feels great.  I can say he certainly looks great pitching this year.  In his 3 starts for the Reds, he has a 1-0 record with an ERA of 2.91.  He has struck out 13 batters so far to go with only 1 base-on-balls.  The most impressive stat, however, is the fact that he has only surrendered 1 homerun.  It came against the St. Louis Cardinals when Matt Holliday belted a three-run bomb over the left-centerfield fence in St. Louis.  It was really Arroyo’s only bad pitch for the evening.  Not only had he allowed no runs and three hits up until that point, he started that game throwing 66 strikes out of his first 90 pitches.  This was against the division leading, reigning World Series Champion Cardinals. 

Now the question I started with, “Is Bronson Arroyo back from the disaster that was the 2011 season?”  I believe that even though he rarely throws in the 90s anymore, the answer is yes.  He has shown great movement on the ball and impecable location.  If he can stay healthy, I look for at least a 15 win season from the cagey veteran.

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