Bronson Arroyo’s durability was his primary selling point as a 37-year-old free agent, but his stint with the Diamondbacks has started with an injury.
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that Arroyo has a bulging disk in his back and is expected to be out for 7-10 days. He was scratched from Tuesday’s scheduled start and sent for an MRI exam, followed by an epidural.
Arroyo, who talked publicly in the middle of the offseason about not receiving any offers from teams, ended up signing a two-year, $23.5 million deal with Arizona. Gilbert notes that Arroyo had a similar issue in 2011 and he ended up starting 32 games and throwing 199 innings, which is actually his only season with fewer than 200 innings since 2004.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.