D-backs Look for Rock 'n' Roll Pitching From Bronson Arroyo

Illustration by Graham Smith

It's not difficult to imagine that Bronson Arroyo lives life like a rock star.

The Arizona Diamondbacks' new pitcher has long blond hair, makes millions of dollars, likes to party, and actually has a rock album that reached Billboard charts.

The reality is quite different.

In the clubhouse at the Diamondbacks' spring training facility at Salt River Fields. Arroyo reached into his locker and pulled out an old black flip-phone.

"This is very significant to me," he says.

See also:
-Slideshow: D-backs Spring Training Game Against the Milwaukee Brewers

Photo by Theon Carrier/Arizona Diamondbacks
Bronson Arroyo, who won a World Series ring with the Boston Red Sox in 2004, is in his first season with the Diamondbacks.
The reason he still uses the phone is the same reason he's still pitching on a major league roster at age 37 -- lessons learned from his old man.

One of them was don't waste your money. Arroyo got the phone in an endorsement deal in the mid-2000s, so why buy a new one?

Another lesson was the importance of physical fitness.

It's not obvious from his tall, lanky frame, but Arroyo spent thousands of hours of his childhood in the weight room with his father, Gus. From the weightlifting and conditioning to routines of a strict diet and supplements.

"When I first got [into professional baseball] in 1995, they looked at me like I was crazy," Arroyo says. "I've been doing this stuff all my life."

It was all part of a routine that started when Arroyo was 6 years old, and the family lived in Key West, Florida.

Gus, a Cuban immigrant, never was into baseball -- he was a weightlifter. However, once he saw his son's athletic ability during his first day of tee-ball, he began instilling the physical workout routine that Bronson stuck to for years.

By 8 years old, 59-pound Bronson was squatting 250 pounds.

He can still recite the routine he went through every day after school: eat something, take supplements, stretch, warm up, throw long-toss or a bullpen session, take ground balls, then go through the weightlifting routine, followed by some endurance cardio, and finally go inside for dinner.

During these workouts, his father also prepared him for life as an adult.

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Unless he has a Cy Young award type season, Dbacks season looks gloomy.

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