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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Scouting Report RHP Bronson Arroyo

The 33-year old Arroyo is an 11-year major league veteran, and is in his 5th season with the Reds (three with the Pirates and three with the Red Sox). He was born in Key West, FL (it explains a lot about his personality/free spirit), and was a 3rd round pick in the 1995 draft. He brags about his supplement regime and admits he takes 16 supplements on the day he pitches. He's a career 94-87 pitcher with a 4.24 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Since going to Cincinnati, his ERA is 4.02. He was an all-star in 2006, and has thrown 200+ innings the past five years. He's not an all-star pitcher any more, but more of a "league-average innings eater." He's made 10 starts against the Mets in his career, and is 6-2, with a 3.54 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Two of those wins came last year; the first start he went six innings and allowed five runs, but then he threw a complete game shutout on July 10th.

Arroyo has a deceptive delivery with a high leg kick. He throws from a low to high 3/4s arm angle depending on how much movement he wants. He adds and subtracts on his fastball that ranges from 86-90 with good sinking movement. He throws an 81 mph change that he sometimes will slow down his arm to throw, a slider (75 mph), 72 mph curve, and an occasional cutter (86 mph). He's been above average with all five pitches this year, with his change being his best pitch (he's increased the usage from 16 to 27%). In the past, his two best pitches were his slider and curve. He's getting hitters to chase more balls out of the strike zone and is throwing more balls than normal (45% strikes, career average is 53%), and it has increased his walk totals to the highest since 2003 (3.3, career average is 2.8 with Cincinnati, was 2.4 with Boston). He is having a hard time getting batters to swing and miss, as his swinging strike % is a career low 5.8% (league average is 8.3%).

This year he's made 17 starts (112 1/3 innings), and is 8-4 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He's been lucky, with an unsustainable .252 BAPIP. His K rate is poor (4.41 K/9, lowest since 2005), his walk rate is increasing as mentioned earlier, but he has the highest ground ball rate of his career (44%). He's won three of his last four starts, including his last start versus the Cubs where he threw six shutout innings (two hits and two walks).

He's making 11.5 million dollars this year and was a popular trade target on sports radio this off-season, but that is unlikely as the Reds are fighting for a playoff berth.

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