UPDATED: 3/19/16 Here is the newest installment of what is wrong with Bronson Arroyo’s shoulder. It appears to not be the bursa sac or the labrum as the problem as was recently reported, and the good news that what is wrong just requires rest and taking some anti-inflammatory medicince. The issue seems to be inflammation of the rotator cuff, and an old injury giving Arroyo discomfort. Mike Rizzo announced this morning that Arroyo still has a partial tear in the rotator cuff tendons which are inflamed and have caused some discomfort. That is also consistent with a MRI taken on Arroyo’s shoulder in 2014, meaning there is not a new injury. Arroyo could be back on the field in 4-to-6 weeks followed by a rehab assignment.
UPDATED: 3/18/16 In one of the most miraculous turnarounds of a medical diagnosis, Bronson Arroyo goes from ‘career over’ to ‘not so fast’ as the Nationals want to examine the results before announcing their diagnosis as to what it really is going on with Arroyo’s right shoulder. It was being reported earlier this evening that the MRI on Arroyo’s right shoulder that revealed a torn rotator cuff had been mis-read by another doctor, and another doctor says it’s just bursa sac inflammation requiring 7 to 10 days of rest. Then the Nationals put out this:
The Nationals have compared Arroyo's MRI with his from two years ago, say the reports tonight are not consistent with their findings.
— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) March 19, 2016
Is that good news, bad news, no news, and what does this mean?
This was the report earlier in the week:
Feel sick. Bronson Arroyo has an 80 per cent tear of his labrum, so his Nats comeback is over. Alltime gamer
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) March 16, 2016
Right now this looks like the rotation for 2016 although the order could change:
Arroyo arrived in camp as the oldest player at 39 years old, and one of the most popular players. Bronson Arroyo was in Viera because of Dusty Baker, and Arroyo was told he would get a fair shot at making this team. Arroyo had not pitched in a MLB game since June 15, 2014 when he earned the 145th win in his career as he felt pain in his elbow and secretly knew he tore his UCL and pitched through the pain for several starts to where he couldn’t straighten his arm any more and then had tests confirming he needed the Tommy John surgery.
Our favorite comparison was putting Arroyo’s age in perspective that when Arroyo was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1995 amateur draft, his teammate Lucas Giolito was 11 months old and still in diapers.
Just to further put Arroyo’s career into perspective, David Ortiz and Arroyo are the only remaining active players from the Red Sox 2004 World Championship team, and with this injury, we fear Arroyo will retire. Arroyowass not ready to retire, and Baker believed he had more in the tank.
Baker had this to say a few weeks ago, “Bronson knows how to pitch, and he knows how to lead. He knows when to say something and when to be quiet. I don’t know where he’s going to fit on this club, but I’m hoping that he’s well enough to fit somewhere. He can add something.”
Arroyo spoke candidly, “It’s a challenge, man. I’m not in pain. I’m proud of what I’ve done in this game. If I don’t make it out of this [Nationals] camp and this arm just won’t go, I’m completely satisfied with what I’ve done in the game. If I go out in spring training [games], and I’m throwing 84, 85, and I’m getting my butt kicked a little bit, I need someone who can look between the lines and say: ‘Yeah, but you know what? He’s good enough, and I know what we’re going to get for the season,’ versus somebody who’s never seen me throw before and be like, ‘Oh, man, this guy’s washed up.’ ”
Arroyo picked the Nats over other teams because he saw a chance to make this roster. Arroyo was scratched today with shoulder pain before he was set to make a 4 inning appearance against the Marlins. Arroyo’s last appearance was 3 innings of no-run pitching and in his previous start he gave up 2 runs in the 2nd inning of work and attributed that to building up arm strength.
This injury to Arroyo could possibly move Lucas Giolito up to the 6th starter spot along with AJ Cole and Taylor Jordan or look to Blake Treinen and Yusmeiro Petit.
UPDATED: 3/17/16 — It is now being reported that it is the rotator cuff that is torn and according to this quote from Arroyo “It’s disappointing” and he will wait for final decision to rehab vs retiring after consulting with the Nationals medical team.