Bronson Arroyo says his career might be at “checkmate” because of pain in his right throwing shoulder.
The 40-year-old Arroyo lasted just three innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in the Cincinnati Reds‘ 8-7 loss. He also allowed his major league-leading 23rd home run (off the bat of the Dodgers’ Logan Forsythe). Arroyo got a no-decision Sunday but is 3-5 with a 7.35 ERA in 14 starts.
He is pitching in the majors this season for the first time since 2014, coming back from Tommy John surgery more than two years ago.
“I’ve been dealing with the same two arm issues for a while,” Arroyo said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “The elbow — Tommy John is like a chain out on a bicycle. It doesn’t matter how bad the chain is, if the rest of the bike is OK, you change out the chain and you continue to move forward.
“But a shoulder is more like your favorite shirt you’ve been wearing for the last 15 years and it’s been washed too many times. So it gets brittle, right? You have some tears in there and there’s really not a whole lot you can do about it. We’ve been doing the best we can with it by masking it with cortisone the entire season, including spring training. Right now, it’s not going to work anymore. I don’t know if we have any more options. We’ll see.”
Arroyo is next scheduled to pitch on Saturday but could be replaced by Homer Bailey, who is set to make a rehab start on Monday and may be ready to make his season debut on that day.
He said he planned to talk to manager Bryan Price later on Sunday. Price told reporters that he would not make any decisions on Arroyo’s future until he talked with the right-hander.
“You have to put up enough quality starts for a ballclub to want to keep you around, you know?” Arroyo told reporters, according to the Enquirer. “That could have been the last time I was on the field, yeah. It’s just the way it is.”
Arroyo has a record of 148-136 in 16 major league seasons.