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.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.