Categorized | Mark Timmons

The Inside Pitch

The Inside Pitch

Jon Broxton has not been noted for pitching inside, so when he hit Ryan Ludwick yesterday, it gave me a glimmer of hope.  In times past, J-Brox has been apologetic after hitting someone.  As one Dodger insider said:  “I’d like to see him hit someone and then stare them down, so that they think he did it on purpose.” Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times wrote about just this issue today:

“Pitching inside is something Jonathan Broxton admits he has avoided for most of his career.  Broxton said that although the pitch to Ludwick was not supposed to be inside, he has made an effort this spring to use that side of the plate more.

“You come in late in the game, you don’t want to miss inside,” he said. “Late in the game, you want the other team to beat you away.”

But, Broxton conceded, “you can’t always live on the outer part of the plate.”

Asked if he thought opposing hitters took for granted that he would not pitch inside and cheated toward the outside when facing him, Broxton replied: “If I were a hitter, I would have.”

Broxton said that when he did pitch inside in the past, he would not do that for more than a pitch per at bat..

Now, I want to get to where I can go back there a couple of times,” he said.”

After hitting Ryan Ludwick, Broxton should have just stood there and stared, and later should not have said he didn’t do it on purpose.  He’s 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 300+ pounds, and if a hitter “BELIEVES” that J-Brox might pitch inside, he is not going to get too comfortable at the plate.  I doubt that he’s eager to charge the mound either.   In times past, Jon has been loathe to pitch inside, but if some inside chin music become part of his arsenal, he could be a TOP TIER CLOSER.  Just changing that aspect could change everything about the way a hitter prepares to hit against the big guy.  I haven’t given up on J-Brox and I hope I have to eat every negative thing I have said about him.

That would make Logan happy.

That would make you happy.

That would make me happy…

and that would make the Dodgers VERY happy!

Ray asked if I thought Kenley would be the closer this year and I have this response: “Not if Big Jon can pitch inside.

With Rod Barajas in back of you and Jon Broxton is front of you, I doubt that many batters would want to charge the mound anyway.  You can see that Barajas is not afraid to brawl.  I think that’s a good mentality for this Dodger team!

The Dodgers ‘ Spring Record of 13-18-1 doesn’t look as bad when you consider that they are 13-9-1  in full-squad games, but 0-9 in split-squad games.

P.S.  The Butler University Campus is six short miles from my house.  I’m a bigger fan, now that Duke is out.

 

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

39 Responses to “The Inside Pitch”

  1. the truth hurts says:

    the truth is that broxton is a softy.

    he is a big teddy bear that would not hurt a fly.

    he will never be an elite closer, book it!

  2. Dave says:

    Can Jamey Carroll pitch? He’d make a more intimidating closer than the Doughboy. God I love Jamey Carroll! So much so that I can’t seem to see that De Jesus deserves to start at 2nd over him. Why can’t more players the game like Carroll does – with passion, intensity, and by getting the most of their ability? He’s the antithesis of Doughboy Broxton.

  3. RogerCraig says:

    Dadgumit, Mark is usually the Broxton-Basher. What gives?

    ;)

    • Dave says:

      Bash Broxton ad nauseam. . .until he either becomes the closer we need or someone else does.

      In the meantime, I’ll continue to hold a “man crush” for Jamey Carroll.

  4. Badger says:

    Logan White straightened him out Roger.

    Yes, it was gratifying for me to hear Logan validate what I had been trying to say for months. Same thing about Russell Martin. Too much use. Same thing about Loney – he is not a problem.

    As for Broxton pitching inside…. where have I heard that suggested before? High and tight, low and away. It’s been a winning formula since Abner was a minnow. A change up would be nice too. But, one thing at a time.

    OK, I’m done. Back to my reading and studying.

  5. Bluenose Dodger says:

    In 2009 Jonathan was an elite closer. 36 saves, 7 wins, 2.61 ERA, .0961 WHIP, 114 K’s in 76 innings.

    Yes, he had a problem in the play-offs. So did Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 WS. Did that remove his elite status? Last year – Brox was not elite for sure, after the all-star break. He was a disaster.

    Can Jonathan get back to that status? I don’t know. I hope so. It seems he at least has a chance with a new approach – pitching inside, off speed pitch, Don Mattingly supporting him. If he does rebound, we are a better team for it. It seems on a lot of blogs and with some sports journalists, folks like to use Jonathan as a whipping boy and take delight in saying, “I told you so.” Succeed or fail, I am in Jonathan’s corner. I do think his leash will be much shorter this year, and rightfully so. I do think he still has elite closer potential.

    It is interesting that many elite closers hit their stride at age 25-26. Brox is 26. Just sayin’.

    Age 25:
    Dave Righetti
    Lee Smith
    John Franco
    Randy Myers
    John Wetteland

    Age 26
    Todd Worrell
    Eric Gagne
    Brian Wilson
    Rollie Fingers
    Billy Wagner
    Jeff Reardon
    Troy Percival

    Age 27
    Jason Isringhausen
    Mariano Rivera
    Trevor Hoffman

    Age 28
    Tom Henke
    Bob Wickman

    Age 31
    Doug Jones
    Heath Bell

    Age 33 Dennis Eckersley

  6. Bobby says:

    if brox can regain the all star form, our bullpen will be sick!!!!!

    it may not be my fresno state bulldogs, but it’s bulldogs none the less, so go butler!!

  7. Bill Russell says:

    If J-Brox can’t throw the ball over the plate consistantly will he be able to pin-point his control and hit the inside corner? One thing for sure, if he is aiming inside, the hitters probably won’t dig in at the plate. It’s strange how different people interpret what Logan White was saying during Mark and Jared’s interview. My take was that he wouldn’t say anything negative about one of his players even if it meant saying nothing much at all. I didn’t hear that it was Torres fault that he over used Broxton. But then again, my hearing isn’t what it used to be.

  8. Roger Dodger says:

    Looking at the schedule – the Dodgers might not need a 5th starter until April 14th against the Cardinals.

    then April 19th against Atlanta.

    then April 24 against Chicago.

    then because of another off day, not until May.

    So — if the rest of the rotation can go every fifth day, with days off (without rain or cold weather) only 3 starts would be necessary in April.

    Wild card in the schedule. April 22-23-24 are in Chicago, and it can get cold and wet there. So, that might open the schedule even more.

    See, this is the smoke and mirrors that will help the Dodgers a bit.

  9. Bluenose Dodger says:

    Bill – that was my take. That is, Logan wouldn’t diss his players. Proper thing. That was my point on the pfevious thread when anonymous insider sources were quoted re: Broxton. IMO, that is not acceptable. More than that, it is unprofessional.Either these sources are part of the team or they aren’t.

  10. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark,

    It’s good to see that you’re willing to re-think your position re: Broxton. Despite what some people may think, you are a Dodger fan first, and not a person who wants to be right just for the sake of being right. And I think that’s the case with most bloggers on this site.

    Funny thing is, that while watching the game yesterday I thought about Broxton pitching inside as soon as he hit Ludwick. And I was further encouraged when I saw him come inside against a hitter subsequent to Ludwick. Despite being a Broxton supporter for a long time, his reluctance to come inside has been one area where I’ve been critical (not sure if I ever posted anything about it, but I’ve definitely thought about it). Not only do I want to see him coming inside in general, but I also want to see him coming up and in.

    In addition to coming inside yesterday, I was also encouraged by the break on his slider, which appeared to have some of the sharpness that was missing last year. A third pitch would definitely help, but for now, using his fastball more effectively, and a crisp slider are a good start. And hopefully, the velocity dip of last year become history this year.

    Your mentioning of Barajas is also something I thought about. He appears to be a no nonsense veteran who brings a tough “mentality” that should be good for this team. In fact, I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if he has something to do with Broxton pitching inside. It might also be one of reasons that Mattingly appears to like him. In fact, “toughness” seems to be a basic Mattingly theme.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    A 5th starter will be needed on April 12th. With no changes in the schedule due to rainouts, etc., the rotation should go as follows:

    Mar 31 – Kershaw
    Apr 1 – Bills
    Apr 2 – Lilly
    Apr 3 – Kuroda
    Apr 4 – OFF DAY
    Apr 5 – Kershaw
    Apr 6 – Bills
    Apr 7 – OFF DAY
    Apr 8 – Lilly – 6th day after previous start due to OFF DAY
    Apr 9 – Kuroda – 6th day after previous start due to OFF DAY
    Apr 10 – Kershaw
    Apr 11 – Bills
    Apr 12 – 5th STARTER – Lilly only has 3 days off since last start

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    Brooklyn, you are right. I was so excited in looking at a real season I lost count on my fingers.

    The only way my way happens is if Bills gets knocked out the in first inning on April 1 and comes back with a day of shorter rest. But that ain’t gonna’ happen.

    Because I believe Mark, the Dodgers will be 123 and 39 this season. We have it all. Kemp is MVP, Ethier is runner up MVP, Kershaw in CY, and some guy will be Rookie of the Year.

  13. Mark_Timmons says:

    Brooklyn,

    I base what I write about Brox based upon what I see. I have said all along that JB could change – and I hope he does. Nothing would make me happier than having everyone tell me that I was an idiot for berating Jon. I would gladly be an idiot…

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark,

    Only an idiot would tell you that you were an idiot. I disagree with a lot of things from a lot of people (here and elsewhere), but I realize that sometimes they’re right, and I’m wrong. Doesn’t make me an idiot (at least most of the time), it just makes me wrong (and even that can change over time).

    Looks like the Dodgers are opening with 11 pitchers, including MacDougal and Elbert in the pen. With Garland and Padilla on the DL, and with the pitching staff ultimately reaching 12 pitchers, it would appear that either Elbert or MacDougal are on the bubble.

    If the pitching staff goes to 12, then the bench gets trimmed from 6 to 5. If Blake and Navarro BOTH come back, that brings the position players from the current 14 up to 16. In that case, three players have to go (leaving the team with 13 players and 12 pitchers). Those would likely be Paul/Gibbons, De Jesus, and Gimenez. However, I don’t think it’s a given that Navarro is coming back, unless the Dodgers are unwilling to eat his contract (assuming it’s guaranteed). If so, then Paul/Gibbons and De Jesus are on the bubble. De Jesus would certainly go unless he’s hitting, and Paul would likely go if Gibbons is hitting. Of course, if the Dodgers ultimately prefer Ellis’ defense, Gimenez could also be on the bubble.

    With days off on April 4 and 7, it’s possible that Barajas could see a lot of duty behind the plate in the early weeks. Once the Dodgers need to begin using their backup catcher to begin starting some games, it’s possible that Ellis will be preferred over Gimenez, given his superior defense and knowledge of the pitching staff.

    Now that I’ve confused everyone with all that, I could be completely wrong (an idiot???), and everything could change with a trade or any number of other myriad variables. Isn’t this fun?

  15. Badger says:

    I don’t believe anyone called Mark an idiot. They called him a liar. I caught him in one, but it was not a big deal. I’ve known him probably longer than anyone in here and Mark is neither an idiot nor a liar, he is just often wrong.

    I saw White immediately bristle when Mark asked him about Broxton and White’s words were that Mark was being unfair, that Broxton is a “helluva lot tougher” than people (Mark) realize, that he threw a “awful lot” (no kidding 194 pitches in June [99 in a 5 day period] and 217 in August) and he wasn’t as sharp and crisp after all of that. No sh*t. Broxton should have it done in 15-18 pitches. If not, time to get somebody else up. But on thing is evident in those interviews….. Logan just didn’t see what Mark did when he looked deep into Broxton’s eyes.

    Heading to Salt River Fields in Scottsdale tomorrow to see a game atween the Rangers and the Dbacks. I still love baseball and it will be fun to see the local team in action. Still not going to put any of my money into McCheesy’s pocket.

    Yeah, I know, nobody cares what I do.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      I could have edited the part where Logan got on me for talking about Brox, but I just can\’t tell you everything that was said off the record. Someday maybe I can say it. At any rate, I stand by what I have said about Broxton even more than ever… and even more than ever I hope I am wrong… which is often.

      I put out more opinions than most, so I am wrong more often than most and I\’ll take the heat.

  16. Bill Russell says:

    I was wondering if anyone knows the pitching order after Kershaw and Bills? Brooklyn has Lilly and Kuroda. Has that been setup? Or just a guess? Just curious……..

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Actually if it’s been setup, I missed it. I’m just guessing.

  18. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Actually, since Lilly is starting tomorrow night, he pretty much has the third spot in the rotation clinched.

  19. Roger Dodger says:

    Been gone most of the day. Returning just now, looking at the box score – the Dodgers used 30 players in the game today.

    I know nothing of Gimenez past in baseball. Looking a bit, he played for Houston in 2006, 2 games, 2 ABs — a Starbuck’s moment.

    He has been around awhile. Signing with the Astros in 1999. Signed as a FA in 2007 with the Rays. Then signed with the Pirates in 2009. Now by the Dodgers over the winter.

    He is now 28, and from Venezuela.

    In the minor leagues, he was an All-Star three times, 2006-07-08.

    5 foot 10 inches tall, 225 pounds. Not a HR hitter, and last year was his highest total with 16.

    In 2007 he had rotator cuff surgery and missed an entire season.

    At one time under the Astros, he was considered the best defensive catcher in their system.

    He is a switch hitter.

    So we will see if he sticks . . . in some way.

  20. Ray says:

    Mark,

    Based on your post and one of your comments above, is it true that Brox will be on a short leash this season? If he blows up, can one assume Kenley will get the ball before Kuo?

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Ray,

      I would guess that it will be both Kuo and Jansen, and if it does happen, I would look for Broxton to again be an elite set-up man.

  21. troyfromwv says:

    I’m probably in th minority on this one, but I’d rather go with Lance Cormier over Mike MacDougal.

  22. Bill Russell says:

    Is X Paul going to survive the cut? Or is Ned considering a trade for Gibbons? Or am I missing something and they both make it?

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I thought about the right-left thing. And I’m sure it plays a role. However, if Lilly were to start in the 4th slot, he would still be followed by righthander in the 5th slot (whoever it is initially). So there wouldn’t be back to back lefties in any case. Of course, I’m sure Mattingly wouldn’t mind have five Kershaw’s back to back to back to back to back.

    I really haven’t thought this one through, but I’m guessing that Paul and Gibbons could initially be on the team together while we have 11 pitchers. It’s when we go to 12 pitchers when things likely have to change. I’m sure Ned’s talking deals, so it’s likely very fluid at this point.

  24. Bill Russell says:

    Let’s play ball. I am tried of spring training and want to see if the boys in blue are capable of winning. Good point Brooklyn, it probably doesn’t matter who goes first between Lilly or Kuroda, I was just curious.

    The boys play the Halo’s of Los Angeles in Orange County of Anaheim tonight. I wonder if the Sacamento Kings move their basketball team to Anaheim, if they will be called the L.A. Kings of Orange County? I guess I just don’t understand the reasoning behind this. Better marketing power? hummmmm Gangs may wear their colors if LA is part of the name? I’m done…. OUT

  25. Bill Russell says:

    Bills signed a three year extension. 2012-2014 for around $30 mil. I like it.

  26. The Bunny Rabbit Inside Broxton's Soul says:

    This is Ely’s coming..thought I’d change my screen name in honor of the Ox…

    They think it’ll be well north of thirty million… they’re also talking about a 2015 option as well

  27. Jae says:

    That is one big bunny rabbit!

  28. SpokaneBob says:

    Dodger site has a free webcast on MLB.TV for tonights game at 7:00pm

  29. Bill Russell says:

    Let’s hope Broxton doesn’t lay an egg for Easter. Not sure if the Bunny thing works for OXton. If anyone can pull it off, Ely can.

  30. Michael says:

    You can pencil it in, tonights lineup is what we’ll see on opening day. Looks like Jamie will get the opening start against the “FREAK”.
    Donnie [if your 50 something ain't it time to get rid of that ie at the end of your name?] admits that Jay Gibbons AKA “Mr.Magoo” is a real piece.

    I thought I remembered this but had to Google it for verification but the Skipper holds the record for 6 GS in a season and also tied Dale Longs record, later tied by “Jr.” of hitting HRs in 8 consecutive games.

  31. Anew Blue Day says:

    Gee, I turned off the TV computer game tonight, went and watched a story — and just came back and found the game was not over; in the 9th.

    Junior made a minor league mistake and could have ended the game on the ball that just bounced through his legs. Broxton cannot put away hitters. Game now tied. Not good at the ending of Spring Training for this week.

    This is supposed to be a NEW Year, A New Season, A NEW Day, or A New Blue Day.

  32. Bill Russell says:

    Well it’s just spring. But Bunny boy is not a closer even in the spring to Triple A players. Yes Ivan missed a hard hit ball up the middle, but closers come back to get strike outs. J-Brox had Trout 0-2 and gave up a single, walked a batter, throw a wild pitch and had pretty much everyone square him up. Well he probably won’t pitch tomorrow because he threw to 6 or 7 batters tonight. It’s just spring I guess. Maybe he’s just working on a pitch.

  33. Dave says:

    Like I said in an earlier post under the Scuttlebut. . .send De Jesus to AAA! He is too arrogant, too rough around the edges, too unrefined on defense to play in the major leagues. He is not the future. Trust me. He will do nothing but disappoint if he makes the team. He needs more time learning how to play defense, how to overcome his arrogance, how to be a true player. Jamey Carroll will NOT disappoint. I would actually like to see DeJesus traded to be quite honest while the Dodgers could get something of prospect value in return. Time for Logan White to get to work I say and find a true talent in return.

    Oh, and by the way, did Broxton return to true CHOKE form or what? He couldn’t handle the fact the things didn’t go his way thanks to DeJesus’ error. Both players will hurt the Dodgers. DeJesus due to his arrogance and less tham refined skills,and Broxton due to mental make up or lack thereof (thus his fear of pitching inside).

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  1. [...] no one’s scared of him anymore like Mark Timmons at LA Dodger Talk said in his article “The Inside Pitch,” He’s 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 300+ pounds, and if a hitter “BELIEVES” that [...]


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