Categorized | Mark Timmons

A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Of the Dodgers 7 wins this season, Jon Broxton has had a hand in 6 of them (1 win, 5 saves). That is pretty impressive until you look at his 4.26 ERA and the fact that he has pitched 6.1 innings and allowed 7 hits (including 2 HR) while striking out only 3 and walking 3.  Sunday, when brought into the game to relieve Chad Billingsley in a 0-0 game, he promptly surrendered the lead… but I liked it!

Yes, I liked it!

I liked it because, while he gave up a double to red-hot Matt Holiday, he still pitched well.  The run-scoring bloop hit just over Aaron Miles glove was a pitch that totally fooled the hitter, and he did it again to the next hitter.

I didn’t see the typical “deer-in-the-headlights” look that I’ve seen in the past.

I saw J-Brox actually pitch.  Pitch, not throw! He was throwing up to 96 MPH, but that’s absolutely fine when he is actually acting like a pitcher and not a thrower.  He was using his breaking ball, changing speeds and PITCHING INSIDE.    He looked like a closer.

I have nothing but praise for his outing on Sunday.

Unlike some sabermetric freaks ‘er… geeks who use stats to try and prove a point, I use my eyes.

Yo, try it!  I liked what I saw.

If he keeps it up, I could be persuaded to change my mind about him.

About Mark Timmons

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

23 Responses to “A Work In Progress”

  1. Bobby says:

    what do your eyes say about loney

  2. Joe says:

    Or Uribe? He may have some power but lacks consistent production to be counting on.

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Interesting what you said about Broxton. Here’s what I said two threads back.

    “Broxton is still making me nervous, and that’s from a long time supporter. He topped out today at 95, and broke off a few nice sliders. He also got away with several sliders flattened out over the plate.”

    My eyes have been telling me all season that his velocity is still down, and his slider not consistently sharp. Maybe he hit 96 today, although I don’t recall anything over 95. Maybe he needs some more innings to stretch out a bit more, and his velocity will go up. But 95 or 96, I still don’t see much 97-101 mph. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of 91-94, which isn’t the Broxton I remember. And because his fastball is straight, without any hint of movement, he needs the extra velocity. If his slider had more consistent bite, or if he could come up with a third pitch, or if he could manage to get more movement on his fastball, I’d be a lot more confident that he could get by on what I perceive to be reduced velocity.

    Like you, I rely on my eyes. I have never seen any deer in the headlight looks, but I am definitely seeing a pitcher working with less than I’ve seen when he was successful in the past.

    And as I’ve mentioned in other threads recently, I’ve got some concern about Kenley Jansen as well, although he did reach 95 the other day. If I was seeing everyone’s velocity dropping I might just blame it on the gun. But I’ve also seen Hawksworth hit 97 on several occasions.

    I’m curious. When you made the Reyes trade remarks in a previous thread, did you know that he will be a free agent after this season? In other words, would you be willing to fork over top prospects to the Mets for a player that could turn out to be a rental?

    • Mark Timmons says:

      1. I would only trade for Reyes if he agreed to an extension.

      2. I would take the Broxton yesterday that only threw 95-96 over the one who threw 100, IF he pitches like yesterday.

  4. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, Sands made some great catches in the outfield, in those late Spring Training games. Great catches. I would rather seen Sands, right now, in left field if he could handle major league outfield slot, and keep Loney at 1st base.

    I said more than a week ago that Jansen should have started the season in AAA or AA — just to get his control and game together for a month or so — then come up and he would be lights out.

    No, they keep him here, and he is fight control and his pitching is searching. Let him do it there.

    Kemp, that might be his biggest hit of his major league career to date. Down 1 to nothing, facing another loss — bingo. Ethier’s hit was a real major league swing. He was all over that pitch. Good for him.

  5. Badger says:

    Like Brooklyn, I have never seen the deer in the headlights look either. What I have seen is a loss in velocity, an inability to hit his spots, a refusal to pitch inside and the lack of an adequate off speed pitch. He really didn’t need one when he threw 99 mph, but now, he has lost 3 feet off his fastball. Heck, there are a lot of pitchers who throw 95. I saw several of them yesterday – David Hernandez, Juan Guitierrez, Dan Runzler – not exactly household names but all of the them threw mid 90′s. And most of the pitchers I saw yesterday were throwing 2 seamers. I don’t believe Broxton does.

    Am I the only one who walks Kemp in that situation? You got easy outs coming up and force outs all over the diamond. Yeah yeah, I know, you don’t intentionally walk the winning run…. well I do.

    Sands huh? OK. What do you do with Loney?

  6. Roger Dodger says:

    Badge — look above, I suggest Sands in LF. He made some great catches in those last S.T. games. Outstanding ones.

    But, it they start the clock on him now — he is closer to contract stuff several years down the line. Teams like to keep some of these guys off the 25 man roster till they really need or want to bring them up.

  7. jerry says:

    broxton..if he don,t have a two run lead..all of the save,s would of been lose,s go out and get a closer..every game is a finger biting thing,

  8. Bobby says:

    what’s the chance that in another week or so, if loney is still struggling, that we send loney to AAA for a few weeks to refocus? put sands at 1b. after loney comes back up (hopefully new and approved), we put sands in LF, and loney gets his job back?

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Agree with Badger. Broxton at 95 and nothing else will ultimately get lit up. His velocity needs to pick up or he needs to regain a consistently sharp breaking slider, an offspeed pitch like a change or splitter, and a fastball with serious movement. And like Badger I don’t believe he pitches inside nearly enough, and I’d also like to see him make use of the high fastball more often, both inside and outside.

  10. Roger Dodger says:

    Bobby, I believe the only way is on a rehab assignment. Not just sending down an established major league player.

    I just looked up other struggling hitters with 25 or more ABs:

    I. Stewart, Col. .080

    J. Rivera, Tor. .103

    D Murphy, Fla. .125

    R. Ludwick, SD, .125

    T. Colvin, Cubs .128

    Carl Crawford, Red Sox .133

    B. Hawpe, SD .139

    B. Gardner, Yankees .140

    R. Langerhans, Sea .143

    C. Figgins, Sea. .143

    Vernon Wells, Angels . 148

    JAMES LONEY, DODGERS .150

    T. Snider, Tor. .151

    A. Casilla, Min. .152

    JUAN URIBE, DODGERS .154

    J. Hairston, Wash. .154

    M. Olivo, Sea. .156

    R. Davis, Tor. .156

    K. Johnson, Ariz. .156

    W. Venable, SD .159

    B. Emaus, Mets 162

    J. Posada, Yankees .163

    M. Treanor, KC .167

    (from here I list a few big names only, because there are 31 more players with 25 or more ABs hitting from here (.163) to below .200:

    A. Pagan, Mets .169

    I. Kinsler, Rangers .170

    Dan Uggla, Braves . 177

    K. Kouzmanoff, Oak .182

    Adam Dunn, W.S., .182

    Blake DeWitt, Cubs .182

    ROD BARAJAS, DODGERS .188

    Pat Burrell, Giants .190

    R. FURCAL, DODGERS .192

    Carlos Santana, Indians .196

    Jason Worth, Nationals .200

    And the difference between Loney and .200 is 3 hits. in his 60 ABs, if he had 3 more hits, he would be at .200.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, let’s get something clear. Kemp and Ethier together aren’t going to hit over .400 for the year, and neither will Loney, Uribe and Barajas hit below the Mendoza line.

    Mattingly said something that struck a chord with me. He noted that Loney has not been squaring up the ball. That’s something I’ve felt for a long time. When Loney first came up he squared up the ball frequently, and hit it a lot harder than he does now. I’m not as interested in seeing Loney hit lots of HRs, as I am interested in seeing him hit the ball hard consistently. If he does that, the HRs will come as a matter of course. I still can’t figure out how the guy that hit 9 HRs in September 2007 has become the player I’ve seen over the last few years. If he can’t find the key that he lost, then he will have to be replaced. But if he finds it, then I’d be very happy with Loney at first, and Sands in the outfield.

    Uribe is what he is, and that’s not likely to change. He’s probably a guy that can be expected to hit around .250 with 15-20 HR, have a low OBP, and strikeout too much. Certainly not what a player making $22 million over three years should do, but probably adequate for the Dodgers if the offense picks up elsewhere (e.g., Loney). Barajas is currently hitting .188. His career tells us that he’s likely to hit around .240 with about 15 HRs.

    I don’t see how sending Loney down would help him, and I’m not even sure if that could occur without the risk of losing him. Actually, Broxton is someone who might be able to benefit from a stay in the minors if it was to allow him to work on his secondary stuff and add a new pitch or two. As with Loney, I’m not sure that could be done without the risk of losing him. And if it could be done, I’d send him to Chattanooga, not to the thin air of ALBQ.

  12. Badger says:

    I don’t think you can send a 5 year player down without consequence. You have to ask him, and ask him nicely. Does Loney have 5 years? I think so, but maybe not.

    Loney can’t square up a ball? Well, that’s just nuts. Why not? Are his hands too slow? Somethin’ wrong with his eyes? Just fix it dang it. This has gone on long enough.

    That’s a lot of good players starting on the schneid Roger. Maybe that’s why they play 162 games. I have this feeling that we can count on seasoned pros doing pretty close to what they always do. That is why those Fantasy Sites do what they do, and are actually pretty good at it. Uribe will hit .250 with a .300 OBP. Why do I say that? Because that’s what he does damn near every year. What I look for are the guys who may be on their way up (Kemp and Ethier) or on their way down (Blake and Furcal). It ain’t rocket surgery.

  13. Bobby says:

    ENTER SANDMAN!!! Xpaul designated for assignment, jerry sands called up!!

    will bat 7th tonight in LF

  14. Michael says:

    I am stunned in total disbelief. WOWSER

    Tonights game is suddenly “must watch TV”

  15. Mark Timmons says:

    I knew he was coming, just not this soon.

    I wonder if X-Paul will clear waivers like Tony “why did we trade him” Abreu?

  16. Bobby says:

    wow mark good one!

    xpaul is basically our OF version of tony abreu!

    hahaahahha

  17. Badger says:

    Nobody knows what Paul can do. He has 146 ML at bats scattered over 3 seasons. I look for him to land somewhere he can get a real opportunity.

    I hope Sands can handle this pressure and come through quickly. If not, we know what can happen to him. There is a track record of young Dodger players dumped early. Some make it, some don’t.

    I am with Mark on this one, I knew he was coming but not this early. It is a hasty admission that the lf situation was not working – and no confidence it will anytime soon. It could also be a message to Loney.

    I hope this works. If we can keep them from scoring, it just might.

  18. Ceeez la says:

    Brox is choking at this moment. I’m done with him. We need to trade him. His velocity is down and his command is not great. We need to start looking for another closer.

  19. jerry says:

    the dodgers should make broxton loose weight like san fran..did with sandoval..brox was sweeting like a stuff pig out there tonight .and it was a cool night.. his ball doesnt move ..what good is a pitching coach if you can teach him any thing..

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