It sounds like Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo has a rather severe case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
No guitar strumming for Bronson Arroyo these days. No autograph signing, either. Pitching? He’s still doing that, but the results weren’t good the past couple times.
The Cincinnati Reds’ musically inclined pitcher is having a recurrence of the carpal-tunnel syndrome that has bothered him from time to time over the past few years.
This bout is especially nasty, along with the timing: The season starts in less than one week.
The problem has forced him to make changes in his lifestyle. Arroyo said it’s so difficult to squeeze a pen that he’s having teammates pay his bills for him. He has to turn down all autograph requests from fans at games — writing his name on a baseball or a piece of paper is too bothersome.
“I’ve been having guys write stuff for me,” he said. “They’re paying my bills. I can’t write.”
The biggest change involves his second love. Arroyo rarely goes a day without playing his guitar. He does numerous concerts in the offseason, playing lead guitar and singing in a band. On road trips, there’s usually a melody coming from his room.
Not lately. Holding a pick between his thumb and index finger aggravates the problem. For now, the music is on hold, something that is starting to exasperate him.
“I can’t play at all,” he said, dropping his head and his tone of voice. “That’s it. It drives me crazy.”
Besides putting the guitar away and letting someone else pay his bills, Arroyo has been wearing a brace when he’s away from the field as a reminder to take it easy with the hand. He’s taking anti-inflammatory drugs as well, hoping that makes the problem subside.