Bronson Arroyo was pretty sure he had a torn UCL for his last six starts

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The Diamondbacks announced yesterday that Bronson Arroyo would have to have Tommy John surgery. Tough break. But maybe it was a tough break that should’ve come a couple of weeks earlier? Get this, from 98.7FM in Arizona:

“(My elbow) was hurting my last six starts, but I pitched against (Washington Nationals’ Stephen) Strasburg, beat him and got the complete game [on May 13], and I’m pretty sure it (the ligament) must have torn off during that game at some point,” said Arroyo on Monday.

Arroyo had some clunker starts after that game against the Nats, but he wasn’t awful. He was 4-2 in those six starts including three starts in which he allowed just one run. The Mets, Astros and Dodgers probably aren’t feeling too great today knowing that a dude with a torn UCL basically stymied them.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.