Bronson Arroyo

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Bronson Anthony Arroyo

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Biographical Information[edit]


Pitcher Bronson Arroyo was born in Key West, FL, and in high school was All-State in baseball as well as being a star at basketball.

He was in the minors from 1995 to 1999, as well as large parts of the 2000 to 2003 seasons. While in the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization, he was 12-4 for the Lynchburg Hillcats in 1997, 15-4 for the Altoona Curve in 1999, and spent parts of three seasons with the Nashville Sounds, going 8-2, 6-2, and 8-6. In 2003, after having been selected off waivers by the Boston Red Sox, he was 12-6 with the Pawtucket Red Sox.


From 2000 to 2002, he spent part of each season in the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates, with his ERA gradually improving each year. However, his major league debut came as not as a pitcher, but as a pinch-hitter, facing the Atlanta Braves on June 12, 2000. He hit for Scott Sauerbeck against Bruce Chen in the bottom of the 6th, with the Pirates leading 8-6. He had just been called up from the minors and did not expect to play that day, so he was not wearing his cleats. Sporting sneakers, he worked a full count against Chen before hitting a comebacker back to him. He then made his pitching debut the next day as a starting pitcher, giving up 5 runs in 5 innings against those same Braves but ending up with a no-decision.

On August 10, 2003, while pitching for Pawtucket, he threw a perfect game against the Buffalo Bisons. It was just the fourth nine-inning perfecto in the history of the International League.

He was with the Boston Red Sox for a small part of 2003, as well as all of 2004 and 2005, going 10-9 in 2004 and 14-10 in 2005. he pitched in the postseason all three years, including tow relief appearances in the 2004 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, when the red Soix won their first title since 1918.

Arroyo was traded at the beginning of the 2006 season to the Cincinnati Reds for Wily Mo Pena. The trade was one of the biggest early successes for rookie Reds General Manager Wayne Krivsky as well as Rookie owner Bob Castellini. As a result, the Reds experienced perhaps their most exciting season since 1999. In Bronson's first at bat as a Cincinnati Red, he hit a home run against Glendon Rusch of the Chicago Cubs in Cincinnati. Bronson repeated the feat, again against Rusch, a week later at Wrigley Field. Both home runs were hit off fastballs that Rusch left over the plate.

Bronson has been dubbed the "poor man's El Duque" because of their similar unusual delivery as well as their similar approaches to pitching. Bronson relies mostly on his sweeping curveball and his fastball which averages from 88-92 MPH. He also has a very idiosyncratic pitching motion in which he raises his left leg very high before stepping towards the batter and delivering the ball.

In 2006, Arroyo was selected to his first All-Star Game where he pitched one scoreless inning. At the time of the game, Arroyo had 9 wins. It would eventually take Arroyo 11 starts for him to win his tenth game. He finished the season with 14 wins while leading the National League in innings pitched and games started. He won the Joe Nuxhall Good Guy Award given by the Cincinnati media that season. he won 15 or more games during three consecutive seasons with the Reds from 2008 to 2010, and pitched over 200 innings in 8 of 9 seasons starting with his 2005 season in Boston; the only exception during that span was 2011, when he pitched 199 innings. While his ERAs during that span were not particularly impressive, his ability to never miss a start and to pitch deep into games while putting his team in a position to win made him a very valuable pitcher. he returned to the postseason in 2010, when he started Game 2 of the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies. He left after 5 1/3 innings with the Reds in the lead, but they eventually lost the game, 7-4. he also started Game 2 of the 2012 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants and pitched brilliantly, giving up noi runs and only one hit in 7 innings; the Reds won that game, 9-0, to go two games up on the Giants, but then proceeded to lose the final three games of the series without his getting another chance to pitch.

Arroyo moved to the Arizona Diamondbacks as a free agent in 2014, after 8 seasons with Cincinnati. He was one of the few bright lights for the last-place Diamondbacks that year, as he went 7-4 with a 4.08 ERA in his first 14 starts. However, his last start was on June 15th, as he had to undergo Tommy John surgery after that and was out for the remainder of the season and the start of 2015. He was still attempting to come back from the surgery when on June 20th, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with pitching prospect Touki Toussaint in return for IF Philip Gosselin, who was also on the disabled list at the time. The deal was clearly motivated by economic reasons, as Arroyo was owed $9.5 million in salary. Indeed, Bronson never actually took the mound for the Braves and on July 30th, he moved again, in another deal motivated by financial considerations, this time to the Los Angeles Dodgers, in another multi-player trade. The others involved in the deal were Ps Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson and Alex Wood and IF Jose Peraza, going to L.A., and Héctor Olivera Jr., Paco Rodriguez and Zachary Bird who headed to Atlanta. He did not pitch for the Dodgers either.

Arroyo became a free agent after the 2015 season, and while there was much speculation that the Reds were interested in bringing him back into the fold, it was with the Washington Nationals that he eventually landed, signing a minor league deal coupled with an invitation to spring training on January 26th. Even though he was only a month away from his 39th birthday, he was not ready to turn his back on the game just yet. However, things did not go as planned, as he was scratched from a scheduled spring training start with a shoulder problem that turned out to be a torn labrum, a likely career-ending injury. But just as epitaphs of his career were being published, an incredible piece of news came on on March 18th: the doctor charged with reading his MRI had made a mistake, misreading a small inflammation as a major tear. The new prognosis was only for seven to ten days of rest. It did not go quite that well, as elbow problems prevented him from pitching at all that season except for a couple of rehabilitation starts with the GCL Nationals. Still, he decided to give baseball one final shot, buy receiving a stem cell injection from Dr. James Andrews. He was to rest until November before giving it one last try in spring training in 2017. And, lo and behold, he made the Reds' starting rotation out of spring training that year! His return to the mound came on April 8th, but he was charged with a loss against the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing 6 runs on 6 hits in 4 innings. After losing his first two starts, he then won three games and in mid-May was 3-2, 5.94, the 11 runs he had allowed in 10 innings in his first two start still bringing his ERA down. But he began to show his age after that as he was winless over his next seven starts, suffering four losses and seeing his ERA shoot up to 7.35 with a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 18th in which he allowed 5 runs in 3 innings. At that points, there were rumors that the Reds were about to cut him loose, which would likely end his career. Instead of being released, he was placed on the disabled list the next day, however, as it was revealed that he had been bothered by a sore shoulder for six weeks - coinciding with the time he had begun to lose effectiveness.

He was named after actor Charles Bronson. Away from the diamond, he is a musician; his first CD Covering the Bases came out in July, 2005. The disc contains twelve cover songs, including Verve Pipe's Freshman and Alice in Chains' Down in the Hole. The advertising about his CD says: "After the 2004 World Series won by the Red Sox, Bronson teamed up with music producer Loren Harriet and music executive Lou Mann to create a twelve-song album featuring cover songs that Arroyo would play for his teammates." Because of Bronson's personality, his unusual hair styles, and his musicianship, Bronson became a fan favorite. Bronson's musical tastes, as well as his performances revolve mostly around 1990s grunge music. Bronson's favorite group is Alice in Chains.

Perhaps because of his status as a musician, Arroyo has his own website (see below). He also has an extensive Wikipedia entry.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Barry M. Bloom: "Injured Arroyo enjoying final ride with Reds: Veteran righty making most of experience while sidelined",, July 28, 2017. [1]
  • Zach Buchanan: "Former Red Bronson Arroyo preparing one last comeback attempt", Cincinnati Enquirer, September 10, 2016. [2]
  • Dave Clark: "Report: Doctor misread Bronson Arroyo MRI", USA Today Sports, March 18, 2016. [3]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Unfiltered Bronson Arroyo brought candor, color to baseball", USA Today Sports, March 18, 2016. [4]

Related Sites[edit]