Bronson Arroyo Taking Unnecessary Risks by Pitching Every Spring Start While Battling Mono

Bronson Arroyo Taking Unnecessary Risks by Pitching Every Spring Start While Battling Mono If you went to high school or college, then you know what mononucleosis is. The pesky disease — also referred to as kissing disease — that leaves its' sufferers fatigued with flu-like symptoms.

It's the disease that has no medication or cure to treat it, and the usual prescription is plenty of rest to help alleviate the symptoms, which normally go away after 2-4 weeks of rest.

In Red Sox Nation, fans became all-too-familiar with the effects of the energy-sapping disease, as infielder Jed Lowrie came down with a particularly frustrating case of mono that kept him out of action for nearly two months last season.

So why, after he was diagnosed with mono, did former Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo decide he was not going to miss a spring training start?

Arroyo "shook off" the symptoms on Tuesday afternoon, helping the Reds to an 8-3 victory over the Indians in a 100-pitch effort. Sure, it's great that he's still able to throw a successful outing, but he's overly exerting himself in a time when it's really not necessary, wasting that precious energy on spring training starts, when he should be focused on resting up for the regular season.

"I felt good," Arroyo said after the start. "I can't stop coughing but I feel good."

Well that's good. Keep coughing those mono germs on a ball that is getting tossed around the field, keep sharing those water bottles and sunflower seeds in the dugout — I bet that doesn't worry his teammates or coaches one bit. 

What's more worrisome than the germ sharing in the clubhouse is the actual risk Arroyo is taking by continuing to pitch while battling the illness. Arroyo is going against the general treatment and throwing 100-pitch games when he should be resting. Mono normally sticks around for a few weeks once its' diagnosed, but by continuing his starts, Arroyo could be extending those tiresome symptoms into the regular season, when the Reds really need him to deliver.

Arroyo may be one of those special cases that doesn't need the normally mandatory amount of rest to truly recuperate from mono, but he's pushing his limits by playing through the illness — a move that would be understandable if he was in the playoffs, but seems utterly unnecessary in the early days of spring.

Do you think Bronson Arroyo is taking an unnecessary risk by pitching through mononucleosis? Share your thoughts below.

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