Sunday, September 2, 2012

Baseball card of the day: Bronson Arroyo

2012 Topps Heritage #039

Bronson Arroyo will take the mound today in search of his 12th victory of 2012. He has won 14 or more games in a season on five other occasions and barring injury or bad luck, should get to that point again by year's end.

The 35-year old veteran is on pace to eclipse the 200-inning mark for the seventh time in the last eight years -- he currently sits at 164 innings pitched. The only time with which he failed to pitch in 200 or more innings since 2005 was last season when he finished the campaign a mere one frame shy (199 IP).

Speaking of 2011, Arroyo has all but proved that the rough season he had last time around was merely a fluke. His numbers are much better in '12 and much more in line with his career averages. As it stands now, the golden-haired hurler is on par to establish new career-bests in K/BB (3.75) and BB/9 (1.5). His current ERA of 3.84 would be the lowest for him in a year since 2009 and his SO/9 would be the highest since 2008 (5.8).

He is also likely to start 32 games or more in a single season for the eighth straight time.

Here's another fun fact: Since 2006, no pitcher in the National League has started more games (227) and pitched more innings (1450.1) than Arroyo has. Furthermore, the right-hander is 4-0 in his last four starts and is 7-1 in his last eight outings overall.

If the Reds had to determine their postseason rotation today, my vote would go to Arroyo as the no. 3 starter behind Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos. He has plenty of experience and a proven track record of success. He is currently in the first year of a two-year contract that pays him a base salary of $12MM this season and $11.5MM in 2013.

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