Broxton, Dodgers want to put his 2010 in the past
Whatever went wrong for Jonathan Broxton in the second half last
season, he’s ready to put it behind. So are the Los Angeles Dodgers
and new manager Don Mattingly.
”The snowball got rolling and he got caught up in it,”
The normally reliable closer with the 100 mph fastball got the
save for the NL in the All-Star game, but completely fell apart in
the final months. He eventually lost his job to Hong-Chih Kuo.
Broxton threw from a mound Friday for the first time in spring
training. He looked to be at ease during a 25-pitch bullpen
”Last year is last year. It’s gone,” he said a day earlier.
”Time to move forward.”
At 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds, Broxton is one of the more imposing
closers in baseball. For the first half of 2010, Broxton was
pitching as well as ever, earning 19 saves and posting an ERA that
dipped as low as 0.86.
Broxton’s struggles actually began in a loss to the New York
Yankees on June 27 in which he gave up four earned runs in an
In the month of July, his ERA was 7.45. It got slightly better
in August (4.63), but by then, Broxton had lost the closer’s role.
His confidence shaken, Broxton posted an 8.59 ERA in September to
close the year with a 4.04 ERA, the highest since his first season
in the major leagues.
So why would Mattingly exude so much faith in Broxton, making
him the team’s closer once again, without seeing if the
right-hander had regained his confidence?
”Looking at his whole body of work, I have confidence that he’s
going to bounce back and do what he’s done the majority of his
career,” Mattingly said. ”I don’t think he’s a headcase. I think
it’s happened to a lot of guys.”
Broxton’s second-half struggles were a big part of the Dodgers’
troubles. They were 49-39 going into the All-Star break, but went
31-43 the rest of the way to fall to fourth in the NL West.
”There’s nothing you can do about last year other than learn
from the experience,”” Mattingly said. ”We’re asking our whole
club to learn from that experience, those that were here, and
hopefully it’s painful enough that we’re not going to let it happen
again this year.”
NOTES: Pitcher Dana Eveland, a non-roster invitee, is expected
to be out ”a matter of weeks, not days,” Mattingly said. Eveland
strained a hamstring on Thursday, the first day of workouts, while
doing running drills. … Veteran infielder Jamey Carroll added to
the growing list of position players already appearing at camp on
Friday, which is his birthday. He’s 37. … Mattingly said he met
with catcher A.J. Ellis on Friday to ”talk to him about his
situation and basically where he fits.” Ellis was in line to be
the No. 2 catcher on the roster before the team signed Dioner
Navarro in the offseason.