Arizona Diamondbacks sign 'routine freak' Bronson Arroyo

Some things never change for Bronson Arroyo, the D-backs free agent pitcher who passed his physical and threw a bullpen session on Wednesday.

For example, the right-handed has made at least 32 starts each of his last nine seasons and has never been on the disabled list in his pro career. 

That's somewhere short of remarkable for a pitcher who turns 37 later this month. Then again, Arroyo professes to being a "routine freak."

"I'm wearing 1999 Kenny Lofton shoes in the game still. I'm still pitching with the glove that I've had since the World Series in `04 and I'm still carrying a flip phone, so I don't do real well with change," Arroyo said.    

In fact, Arroyo admitted that he would've preferred to retire with the Reds, where he went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA last season.

Within a couple of days on losing out on Masahiro Tanaka, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers signed Arroyo to a two-year deal for a reported $23.5 million.

"Starts, innings, wins, competitor," Towers said. "He's been on a world championship club in Boston back in 2004. We felt (he was) the right guy to kind of give us some leadership to what we think is a young pitching staff that has a lot of upside."

Just don't expect Arroyo to strike out the side. With a fastball clocked in the upper 80 mph range, Arroyo said he is "probably one of the slowest guys in major league baseball."

 "So I've got to find other ways to beat guys," Arroyo continued.  "For me, it's finding a way to read people, read their body language, read what's going on at the plate and what guys are trying to do and try to be one step ahead of it. It's always been a big chess match for me."

And by "always," he might be referring to his childhood. Such as his early training days, even before Little League. 

"I also grew up very strange, where my father had me in the weight room as a 5-year-old kid taking supplements and treating my body the way we do as professional athletes."

No question, Arroyo was hard to miss at the D-backs held their first full-squad workout of the spring. And, as far as first impressions go, the feeling was mutual, according to Arroyo. 

"I can already tell being here one day, the meetings they've had are on a different level than any other place I've been," he said. "I've played in Pittsburgh, played in Boston, played in Cincy the last eight years. They all have had great qualities about them, but I love the attention to detail."

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