The Pros And Cons Of Bronson Arroyo
By Scott Andes
There’s been a lot of talk about the Dodger’s recent interest in free agent right hander Bronson Arroyo, the 37-year old right hander that has the long hair and the high leg kick. The Dodgers have been talking to him in the last couple of weeks, and it is still in the realm of possibility that they could offer him a contract. (Arroyo has said earlier that he has not been offered a contract from any team).
We’ve heard that Arroyo had been asking for a third year, and teams were reluctant to give him one. This makes sense as most teams don’t want to give a 37-year old pitcher a multi-year deal. But Arroyo is not as bad you may think.
The stat kids hate the guy. They cry and scream every time his name is mentioned. But then again they hate all veterans. They hear the rumors of the Dodger’s interest and it sends them into a fury of rage. “ Like zOMG Arroyo? Noooooooo, he’s so old and icky”
Could you live with Bronson Arroyo-Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately you can’t have a team of all 21 year olds. You gotta have a few veterans on the club. The Dodgers are a team that already have a lot of veterans on the roster, and having another solid veteran pitcher wouldn’t hurt necessarily if the price is right. The Dodgers don’t really need him, but again if the price is right, I wouldn’t be all that opposed to it.
Arroyo is actually a decent pitcher, and has been for most of his career despite pitching in a band box of a ball park that is the Great American ballpark. Well everyone calls it a band box, but it’s really just a very hitter friendly park. Arroyo has still managed to carve out a pretty solid career for himself. He doesn’t come without some baggage though. I’m not advocating the Dodgers sign him, but taking a look at him certainly can’t hurt right?
Arroyo does a lot of things right, so let’s go over the pros and cons of signing Bronson Arroyo. Keep in mind again that I am not suggesting the Dodgers sign him. So please understand that before you bombard me with “Arroyo is old and icky” comments. I’m just saying there are goods and bads to signing a guy like Arroyo. So let’s go over the top three pros first.
Arroyo is a workhorse. He’s posted 200+ innings pitched in eight of the last nine seasons. And the one season where he pitched below 200 innings, he actually pitched 199 frames. He’s thrown over 2,278 innings, and has never been hurt or on the disabled list.
- Impeccable control
Arroyo is a big command guy. He rarely walks anyone. Check out his walk ratios. Theyre across the board excellent. Arroyo walked just 34 last season, and only 35 the season before. He has a career walk per nine rate of 2.5, and has not posted one above 2.7 since 2008. The last two seasons he’s posted walk rates of 1.5 and 1.6. The guy just throws strikes.
- Good against right handers
Arroyo gets right handers out at a pretty good pace. He’s limited righties to a .680 OPS, and .240 average.
Now we get to the cons of signing Bronson Arroyo
- Too many home runs
One of the biggest problems with signing Arroyo is that he just give up way too many home runs. One of the side effects of constantly being around the plate all the time. Arroyo has given up a unfathomable 314 career home runs. Of course this could be because of pitching in a hitter conducive park like GAB, and I’m sure those numbers would go down if he was pitching in the spacious Dodger Stadium, but still it’s a lot.
Arroyo led the league last year with 32 long balls allowed, and led the league in 2011 with 46. I think that may have been a record. Anyways, Arroyo serves up a lot of home runs. His career home run rate stands at 1.2. If Arroyo can limit his home runs allowed, his numbers would improve ten fold.
- Not enough strikeouts
Obviously the best pitchers are the ones who miss the most bats. Pretty simple. But Arroyo has never been a big swing and miss guy. The right hander only whiffed 124 last season, and his career whiff per nine rate stands at 5.8. Last season he registered a 5.5, and hasn’t whiffed more than 127 since the 2008 season when he whiffed 163. Arroyo also has never had a 200+ whiff season ever.
- Can’t get lefties out
Uh-oh this is a big one. Arroyo has trouble getting left handers out consistently. Lefties have hit him for a .289 average with an .834 OPS, and 183 home runs. In 2013, lefties belted Arroyo to a tune of a .295 average, 23 home runs, and an .856 OPS.
If Arroyo wants to be more successful he’ll have to learn how to limit his home runs, and figure out a way to get left handers out. But he does a lot of things well. Great control, lot’s of innings, and he’s rarely ever hurt. Of course being an age 37 starter he’s bound to start declining soon, and his likelihood of getting injured increases. Still though, for a back-end starter you could do a whole lot worse. I think if the cost were right, I could live with him.