Cincinnati Reds: Can Bronson Arroyo Bounce Back in 2012?

Diamond NotesCorrespondent IIIOctober 17, 2011

Bronson Arroyo
Bronson ArroyoJohn Grieshop/Getty Images

What a difference a year makes. Just ask Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

At the completion of the 2010 baseball season Arroyo had to be feeling very good. His Cincinnati Reds had won the National League Central Division title and he had what may have been the best season of his career, winning a career high 17 games.

However, 2011 started with a bout of mononucleouis in spring training, for Arroyo, and some back issues during the season. Weather these were the cause of a 9-12 record with a 5.07 ERA is unknown, but this was one of the worst seasons in his 12 year career.

Mark Sheldon of wrote in his article "There will be no 'off' in Arroyo's offseason" that Reds manager Dusty Baker does not think the bout with mono had that big of an effect.

"The mono might have affected the velocity early and strength," Baker said. "I don't think it affected the location though. Let's face it, there are good years and bad years. It's something that people don't understand anymore."

Arroyo understands and plans to come back next season throwing the ball a little bit harder.

"Everything that I do, I have to go above and beyond to try and counteract either age or whatever it is so I can come back and throw the ball a little bit harder. I really think if I can throw the ball 90-91 m.p.h, I can have the same seasons I've always had," Arroyo said.

He plans to change his offseason routine to ensure a different outcome in 2012. His routine will include less golf and travel, so more time can be devoted to bike riding and swimming. He hopes this will strengthen his muscles without hurting his back and lead him to a successful 2012.