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.
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.