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,”

Mattingly said.

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

session.

”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

inning.

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.