Despite the oft-used Daniel Defoe saying, there are actually three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Diamondbacks starter Bronson Arroyo taking the hill once every five games. The 37-year-old right-hander has been in professional baseball for 19 years and has been a regular part of a starting rotation since 2004 and has never missed a start. His ironman status could be in jeopardy, though, as an elbow injury could cause him to miss his next start.
Via MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, Arroyo says the status of his right elbow is “slowly sliding downhill”. He averaged 85 MPH on his fastball in his start last Tuesday against the Astros. His fastball velocity was so slow in Sunday’s game against the Dodgers that Pitch F/X was registering them as change-ups, barely registering in the 80’s.
Arroyo has been dealing with the elbow issue for about a month and even received a cortisone injection on May 30, but obviously no progress has been made, even though he held the Dodgers to one run over five innings. A stint on the disabled list looks likely.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.