Bronson Arroyo may have more free time to pick up a guitar over the next year. He won’t be able to pick up a baseball anytime soon.
Arroyo, one of the most durable pitchers in the major leagues over the last decade, has lost his season to pending Tommy John surgery. He announced this Monday. Despite making six starts with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Diamondbacks pitcher boasted a 7-4 record and a respectable 4.08 ERA on a losing team.
Arroyo joins D-Backs stablemate Patrick Corbin, Jose Fernandez of the Marlins, and Orioles catcher Matt Wieters as star players succumbing to the the elbow injury this season. A total of 24 players have been lost to the disabled list in 2014 because of Tommy John surgery or a need for it.
“If you do a study,” Tommy John told Breitbart Sports in May, “the whole thing about Tommy John surgery and the injury itself–it’s an overuse injury.” After starting 29 games for the Red Sox in their 2004 World Series season, Arroyo started 32 or more games from 2005 through 2013.
The 37-year-old hopes to pitch again late next season. Science gives him reason to hope. An American Journal of Sports Medicine article from March found that 97 percent of players undergoing the procedure return to play in professional baseball, with 83 percent of the players returning to the majors. The study reported that after the operation pitchers enjoyed “a lower ERA and WHIP per season. In comparison with controls, pitchers who underwent UCL reconstruction had a lower ERA and WHIP, had a lower losing percentage, and gave up fewer hits per inning.”