Jun 5, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo (61) delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Diamondbacks' Bronson Arroyo could miss first start in 19 years due to elbow soreness

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Arizona Diamondbacks starter Bronson Arroyo could hit the disabled list for the first time in his 19-year professional career due to elbow soreness, reports Tom Gilbert of MLB.com.

“It’s just slowly sliding downhill,” Arroyo said of the condition of his right elbow, which has put the 37-year-old’s next start in jeopardy. Should he miss the start and hit the disabled list, it would be his first-ever trip since being drafted in 1995 by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Over the past decade, no pitcher in baseball has displayed the astonishing durability that’s defined Arroyo’s game. In every season since 2005, Arroyo has started at least 32 games and completed at least 199 innings of work. On three ocassions, he’s topped 215 innings, and in 2006, his 240.1 innings with the Cincinnati Reds led the National League.

That durability continued early on this season as Arroyo churned through his starts with Arizona, but the elbow soreness puts his next appearance in doubt. According to Hardball Talk, his fastball was hardly topping 80 during his last start, with the Pitch F/X software occasionally mistaking those pitches for changeups.

All of that spells out an ugly situation for Arroyo, who’s been pretty fortunate to stay healthy as long as he has. Most teams go to incredible lengths to keep their pitchers healthy, and yet we see dozens go down with major injuries each year. Arroyo has bucked that trend, but even he’s likely to start breaking down as he gets older.

Arroyo has continued to be effective with Arizona, so they’ll likely work to get him back as soon as possible. In 13 starts this season, he’s posted a 4.22 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 18 walks, showing solid command while eating innings.

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