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Bronson Arroyo

Bronson Arroyo

Position(s):
P
Nicknames:
Saturn Nuts
Born:
February 24, 1977
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 4"
Weight:
195 lbs
Major League Debut:
6-12-2000 with PIT
Allstar Selections:
2010 GG

Professional career

Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 1995 draft, Arroyo made his major league debut with Pittsburgh in 2000. He came to the Boston Red Sox after being selected off waivers before the 2003 season.

On August 10, 2003, Arroyo pitched the fourth nine-inning perfect game in the 121-year history of the International League as the PawSox beat the Buffalo Bisons 7–0 at McCoy Stadium. He needed 101 pitches to throw his masterpiece (73 strikes), struck out nine, and got 10 fly outs and eight ground balls from the Buffalo 27 batters. He went to a three-ball count to just three hitters all game.

Arroyo improved in 2004, while jumping from middle relief to starting, to strengthen his role as the Red Sox No. 5 starter. He compiled a 10-9 mark with a 4.03 ERA in 178⅔ innings, while posting a very respectable 3.02 strikeout-to-walk ratio (142-to-47). His most productive season came in 2005, when he posted career-highs in wins (14), starts (32), innings (205.1) and pitching appearances (35). He also excelled at holding runners, as he only gave up five stolen bases. Arroyo made 2 starts and 4 relief appearances in the playoffs, compiling a 0-0 record with 2 holds and a 7.82 ERA for the eventual 2004 World Series champion Red Sox. During Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series, Alex Rodriguez illegally knocked away the ball from Arroyo's glove. The umpires met and reversed the on-field ruling that Rodriguez was safe, forcing Derek Jeter to return to 1st base, and calling Rodríguez automatically out on the play. Prior to Game 3 of the 2004 Division Series, Curt Schilling posted the following message on the Sons of Sam Horn message board regarding Arroyo starting the game: "Friday is going to be a legit struggle, got a team fighting for its life against a kid making his first ever post season start, FWIW I take the kid Friday night, he's got nuts the size of Saturn."

Before the 2006 season, Arroyo signed a three year $11.25 million contract with the Red Sox. Arroyo said the deal was a "hometown discount" and agreed to the terms against the advice of his agent. Arroyo was later traded during spring training of the 2006 season for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Wily Mo Peña.

The year 2006 was a high point in Arroyo's career. Highlights of the season included a major-league leading 3,852 pitches, league-leading 240 2/3 innings pitched, his first selection to an All-Star game, as well as his first career shutout in the major leagues.

In February 2007, Arroyo signed a contract extension with the Cincinnati Reds which will keep him with the organization through the 2010 season, with an option for the year 2011.

Arroyo was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in his pitching hand during the 2008-09 offseason. As a result, he missed games during the 2009 spring training, as well as being advised to stop playing guitar until the symptoms died down. The carpal tunnel may have been a factor in his sub-par first half of the '09 season. However, Bronson turned in an excellent second half, lowering his ERA from the 5's to the 3's, throwing multiple shutouts and complete games, and putting himself in position to be the Reds top starter in 2010, since Edinson Volquez, the #1 starter in '09, was out to start the season following Tommy John surgery.

In 2010, Arroyo was chosen as the #2 starter in the Reds' first playoff series in 15 years. He pitched 5 1/3 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, allowing one earned run and leaving with the lead. However, he would earn a no-decision as the Reds went on to lose the game.

The Reds exercised the 2011 option on Arroyo's contract on November 3, 2010.[6]

Arroyo won his first ever Gold Glove on November 10, 2010.

After exercising his option, the Reds and Arroyo agreed on a three-year, $35 million contract extension, keeping him with the team through 2013.

On March 26, 2011 Arroyo was tested for the cause of a lingering cough and fever. It was proven that Arroyo had mononucleosis, a condition where there is a high lymphocytes count in the blood from a Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Rest is recommended during the acute phase of the infection, but Arroyo's activity can be resumed once acute symptoms have resolved. Despite the recommended rest, Arroyo made every one of his scheduled starts though not pitching very well.

Possible use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

A day after reports claimed former Red Sox teammate David Ortiz was among 104 Major League players to have failed drug tests in 2003, Arroyo revealed he had used androstenedione and amphetamines in his career. Bronson Arroyo remarked that he would not be surprised if he was among the 104 players that failed tests, as he suspected the adrostenedione he was taking may have been tainted with steroids.

Pitching style

Arroyo's fastball is in the 87–92 miles per hour range. While it is considered average among major league pitchers, his fastball has excellent movement and Arroyo is adept at "spotting" it. He also throws a hard slider that moves away from right-handed batters, and a straight changeup as well. Arroyo's best pitch is his curveball. He throws the pitch from multiple arm angles and is known to throw it in any count. The angle of the curveball itself can vary from a straight 12-6 to a sweeping 1-7. Arroyo's delivery is somewhat unique; he incorporates a leg kick in his pitching motion, extending his front leg completely straight and lifting it up to a level above his waist before delivering the ball. His kick often appears to reach head level and deceives hitters with its exaggerated motion. From the stretch position with runners on base, his leg-kick is much less pronounced and his delivery to home plate is very quick by major league standards. As a result, Arroyo is one of the better pitchers at holding runners on base.

Music

In 2005, Bronson Arroyo released his debut album, Covering the Bases. It included covers from bands such as Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters and Incubus. The album also includes the Red Sox victory song Dirty Water by The Standells, in which Arroyo is accompanied by Johnny Damon, Lenny DiNardo, and Kevin Youkilis. He also taught Kevin Millar how to play guitar and performed vocals for the song "Tessie" as covered by the Dropkick Murphys.

In 2008, commercials for JTM Food Group featuring a 'music video' by Arroyo; also featuring FSN Ohio color analyst and former Cincinnati Reds player Chris Welsh began airing during Cincinnati Reds games.

Bronson appears as a vocalist on the song "Since You" on Chad Perrone's album, Wake.[8] Bronson made his public debut on stage in January 2004 at the Hot Stove Cool Music fundraiser at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. He performed a cover of Pearl Jam's "Black" with teammate Kevin Millar. He later performed full sets at four other Hot Stove Cool Music events with a full band that featured saxophonist Elan Trotman and two members of Gnarls Barkley (drummer Eric Gardner and guitarist Clint Walsh).

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