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Arizona RHP Arroyo to undergo Tommy John surgery

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jul 08 2014 10:21:00 AM CDT
Baseballs, sports, MLB

For the Diamondbacks, the surgeries just keep on coming.

Right-hander Bronson Arroyo said Monday that he will undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future, the third D-backs' pitcher to have ligament replacement surgery this season and the fifth projected contributor to be lost for a significant amount of time this season. No. 1 starter Patrick Corbin and setup man David Hernandez will miss the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery a week apart during spring training, and starting outfielders Mark Trumbo and A.J. Pollock will miss at least two months because of injuries.

Arroyo, 37, said an MRI on June 16 showed a complete tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, but that he hoped rest would allow him to get back on the mound by his self-imposed July 15 deadline.

"I was going to see if I could ride it without the ligament," Arroyo said. "If this was the last year of my career, I could gut through it with anti-inflammatories and different things and it would be tough. But if I want to play after this year, it's going to be impossible."

Arroyo, who was 7-4 with a 4.08 in 14 starts, said he believed the ligament was completely torn during a complete-game 3-1 victory over Washington on May 13, but he continued to pitch on it until the discomfort became too great. He was 3-2 with a 3.99 ERA in six starts while pitching with the complete tear.

The durable Arroyo had averaged 13 victories and 207 innings per season from 2004-2013, and he had made 33 consecutive starts until coming out of the rotation because of elbow soreness after a June 15 start in Los Angeles, a 6-3 victory.

"I thought maybe I'd retire at 39 or 40, but who knows, I might pitch much further if I do come back healthy, because it's a lot of extra work I'm having to do to try to come back now," Arroyo said. "I think my body's a lot younger than my age is. I think I'm probably closer to 32-33 as far as the way I feel in comparison to most guys my age. So I don't think it's going to be a problem coming back."

Tommy John surgery typically requires a 12-month rehab period.

Arroyo is in the first year of a $23.5 million contract that is to pay him $9.5 million in 2014 and 2015 with an $11 million option that includes a $4.5 million buyout for 2016. That option increases to $13 million if he is traded during the course of the contract.

He hopes to make a half-seasons's worth of starts in 2015 to give the D-backs a long look before his option becomes due.

"I don't want to put this organization in a position where I only pitch maybe two starts in September of next year and then they're not really sure if they want to pick up that option, because it's a pretty hefty option," Arroyo said. "I want to give them the opportunity to at least see me throw for a few months and know that what they have here is what they had before."

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