How Arroyo rejuvenated his career
By becoming more predictable, Reds righty has been harder to hit
Bronson Arroyo was the very worst pitcher in Major League Baseball two years ago. Despite pitching in the DH-free National League, Arroyo led the majors by allowing 46 home runs, 11 more than No. 2 on the list, who just happened to pitch in hitter-friendly Texas. Arroyo gave up 15 more home runs than the next-highest National League starter. By FanGraphs' version of wins above replacement, Arroyo was worth minus-1.4 wins, meaning the Reds would have been better had they just swapped him out for some dude from Triple-A.
At that point, Arroyo was a 34-year-old with a batting practice fastball who had just taken a run at the major league record for home runs allowed in a season. He'd had a good run as a big league pitcher, experiencing more success than anyone ever expected, but this looked like the end. Hitters had figured him out. Whatever magic he had used to get hitters out with his 87 mph heater had been used up.
Well, two years later, Arroyo is not only still around, he's having one of his best seasons to date. The 36-year-old has remade himself once again, and the pitcher the Cardinals will face on Sunday night is not the same guy who was throwing BP back in 2011.
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