Arroyo taking conservative approach

CINCINNATI -- Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo has decided against surgery on his right wrist for the carpal tunnel syndrome that has nagged him for years but improved this season when he gave up playing the guitar.

"I'm going to wait it out for another year," Arroyo said Sunday. "I feel too good throwing the ball now."

He led the Reds with 15 wins this season and had a 3.84 ERA that was best in the rotation. Arroyo pitched a team-high 220 1/3 innings despite the problem, which flared up during spring training.

Arroyo gave up playing the guitar during the season, and the weakness in his hand subsided. He plans to resume playing during the offseason, then give it up again when next season approaches.

"I'm going to try to make it through another year without doing guitar," he said.

The 32-year-old pitcher loves to play guitar and sing. He plans to play at the Reds' winter festival again, but doesn't have any other appearances scheduled at this time. Usually, he makes several in the offseason.

Arroyo has one more season left on his contract, which was extended before the 2007 season. He'll get a base salary of $11 million next year, then could become a free agent, which figured in his decision to put off risky surgery on the wrist. The contract includes a club option for 2011 at $13 million, but the Reds could buy it out for $2 million.

Arroyo's wrist problems came at the start of a Reds season that was scuttled by injuries. Manager Dusty Baker gave him extra rest during spring training to treat the problem bothering his pitching hand. He avoided the disabled list and got better as the season went along.

Nineteen Reds spent time on the disabled list, including the other four starting pitchers -- Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Micah Owings. Every starting position player except second baseman Brandon Phillips went on the disabled list at some point.

The Reds completed their ninth straight losing season on Sunday, their longest such slump in a half-century.