Categorized | Mark Timmons

Is Broxton is a Second-Tier Closer?

The Broxton defenders will say that Jamey Carroll cost Brox the game with his error, but the reality of the situation is that Carroll had to

Closer? HA!

charge it and “hope” that he could come up with it.  He didn’t!

But Broxton did put 2 runners on with walks (1 intentional) and allowed two hits.  Broxton has been extremely lucky up until today.  He had 5 saves, but his 4.35 ERA is much better than he has pitched.  He’s awful.

Blame it on Carroll, Blame it on Jone Torre.  I blame it on Broxton.  He is toast.  Closers have a short life, blah, blah, blah – quit making excuses!  The guy is bad.  You think it’s physical.

I think it’s mental.  If Ned had traded him 3 years ago, like I requested, we’d be much better off.

The Dodgers should have won this game.  How long will they stick with him?

People in the know call him a “second-tier, closer, but a great set up man.”  In my opinion, I think he’s not even close to second-tier – more like 4th tier, and I’m no longer sure he can set up.

OK, Broxton Basher Bashers:  Have at it!

About Mark Timmons

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

38 Responses to “Is Broxton is a Second-Tier Closer?”

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

    Broxton has been awful this year… and he was awful the second half of last year… My issue is with all the Broxton haters who say he’s been awful since 2008… when that is complete crap.

    Jon Weisman wrote this last week and it illustrates how i feel perfectly…

    http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/dodger-thoughts/post/_/id/12658/a-different-broxton

  2. Willie Mays says:

    Hey Bunny Rabbit,

    Big Boy blow 8 saves in 08, he blew 6 in 09 and he blew 7 in 2010! How is that complete crap? You moron Dodger fans have no clue.

    • The Bunny Rabbit Inside Broxton's Soul says:

      hey idiot… I said the people who say Broxton has been bad since 2008 are full of crap. I say he’s been a top tier closer until that Yankee game last June…

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    This is what I wrote in the previous thread (before this one was posted).

    “I can’t be the only one recognizing this. And why the Dodgers don’t is beyond my comprehension. Jonathan Broxton did not go above 95 tonight, and was mostly in the low 90′s with his fastball. He was also throwing a lot of very hittable sliders, which for the most part are in the low to mid-80′s. Used to be that his slider had a lot more bite, and often was in the low 90′s. There’s something wrong with him, and it’s been like that since mid-season last year, when Torre used him for close to a 100 pitches in a short span of a few days, and 48 in one day.

    And why do you think he threw so many sliders tonight? The answer is simple. He no longer has any confidence in his fastball. Broxton’s fastball has always been as straight as an arrow, and at reduced velocity it is very hittable. He was even scared to challenge Bonafacio fully knowing that Hanley Ramirez was on deck.

    Those of you who think it’s about looks in the eye or intestinal fortitude should take a closer look at the stuff he’s delivering to the plate. It’s not the same stuff that used to dominate hitters. So yes, he lacks confidence. And so would anyone else with an arsenal depleted like his. He should no longer be the closer, and should probably be on the DL, and undergoing a battery of tests to determine what’s wrong. Who knows, maybe it’s related to the toe injury he had a couple of years ago. Whatever is wrong, Jonathan Broxton is a shell of the player he used to be.”

    Mark, you always say that you go by what you see. So tell me, do you see the same pitcher with the same stuff he used to have, or do you see a pitcher who’s lost his stuff, and is a shell of his former self?

    Broxton may well be a 2nd, 3rd or 10th tier closer. But it’s not because of anything mental. It’s purely about stuff. If you can tell me that Broxton has the same stuff he used to have when he was blowing hitters away, then I’ll tell you that you’re right. Deny it all you want, but it is clearly PHYSICAL. What’s causing it, I don’t have a clue, and apparently neither do the Dodgers, and certainly not you.

    And there is a mental part. Surely understands that his stuff is diminished, and consequently he cannot have the confidence that he had in the past when his slider was breaking sharply and he was hitting in the mid to upper 90′s, and occasionally triple digits.

    If you had concluded 3 years ago that Broxton’s stuff would diminish severely, then you would be right. But those weren’t your conclusions. You’ve always thought it was mental, but it appears that it’s apparently physical (unless of course, you think that his diminished stuff has deeper psychological roots–which I guess is possible).

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Willie, last I looked Brian Wilson has an 9.82 ERA. That might be worse than Broxton.

  5. Badger says:

    I think I saw something in Broxton’s eyes…… tears.

    His arm is just not what it usta was before July of last year. Will it come back? Who the heck knows.

    Schieffer, IRS, Fox – headlines from the MLB Trade Rumors page. I don’t even want to go there……………

  6. Bobby says:

    broxton’s fastball is not fast anymore. i dont care about mental or not, but physically, he has lost his fastball.

    he’s no longer unhittable.

    either way, it’s time we start coming up with solutions to the closer job. nobody currently on this team can do it, and kuo is still out. the aaa closer is elbert, and god knows what kind of control he has. in AA, it’s lindblom, but can he come up and start closing?

    it will have to be closer by committee.

    any thoughts on RDLR coming up and closing this year?

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Actually, RDLR is a possible solution. It’s been done. Neftali Feliz did it last year when he was the same age that RDLR is now. And he wouldn’t have to be the sole closer. Kuo could do it on occasion, maybe Padilla could, and perhaps Jansen.

  8. wrisp says:

    I thought plan B was Padilla as closer.

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    This from Tim Brown in one of those MLB Trade Rumors articles that Badger wants to keep away from.

    “Many view Selig’s recent action as an attempt to rebuild the Dodgers’ structural and economic stability until he can force McCourt to sell, and view the appointment of Schieffer – a lawyer and politician who is closely tied to the old guard of baseball – as proof of that.”

    “They are clearly looking for new ownership,” said a person with a long association with Major League Baseball. “McCourt will not be getting any open shots with Schieffer there. He won’t be able to spot up for a three-pointer without someone in his face. Schieffer knows how to operate and knows how to play the game and knows how to play the legal issues.”

    Again, I’m getting the feeling that MLB is fully aware of any obstacles that McCourt may thrown up. I’m sure they’re aware of his litigious past, and the likelihood that he’ll attempt to offer a legal challenge. I’m also sure they’re aware that they have precedent on their side, and that McCourt is likely vulnerable on a host of issues (e.g., the IRS and the questionable operation of the Dodger charity, and the multiple legal challenges from his wife, the Boston law firm, and MLB). Something tells me that McCourt is going to be squeezed into a corner from which he will be unable to extricate himself.

  10. Dodger66 says:

    I just wanted to agree with Brooklyn Dodger the veloicty on Broxton’s pitches is down. when you can’t blow guys away with your straight fastball,and your slider is not snapping you have are current closer. Forget about the all the head issues he has veloicty and stuff issues.

  11. Badger says:

    About the velocity……the Rabbit has it right.

    I finally read it Brooklyn, and it’s good news. McCourt has needed to be gone for some time now and MLB is going to do whatever it takes to make it so. The whole thing is embarrassing, but not surprising. Not to me anyway.

    “If Fox had not been so focused on Time Warner Cable, perhaps the company would have recognized just how fragile the situation between McCourt and Major League Baseball had become and kept its distance from him. Instead, it continued to prop up a guy who long ago lost the faith of the fans and now was losing support from the league as well.

    On the other hand, maybe the league should be grateful to Fox. After all, the loan gave Selig a reason to pull the plug on McCourt, whom he clearly wanted gone.”

    Yeah, him and 99% of all Dodger fans wanted him gone.

    It shouldn’t take too long to recover from McCourt. In fact, it might actually take just as long to get him out of here as it will to be good again. This is the Los Angeles Dodgers we are talking about. As soon as McCourt gets his official walking papers, we are back on course for 3.5 million b.i.s. and payroll can be back up where it belongs – without the deferred nonsense.

  12. DRomo says:

    Broxton is a gas can!!!!!

    Carroll had a do or die play and missed it. Sands mis read a line drive too. But bottom line is Broxton blew it…..again and it finally cost the Dodgers a game.

    The bullpen is going to kill this team. Without the late game melt downs this team should have run off 6 in a row? Guerreir’s melt down now Broxton? It is sad!

  13. jerry says:

    broxton is just out of shape..he to fat..he is becoming a family man ..and he needs to loose weight..when your that big .you get out of shape twice as fast..

  14. Idaho al says:

    Two losses on this road trip and both by the bullpen. You cannot be handed a 2 or 3 run lead by the 8th inning and lose both of them. The bullpen is a mess and needs to looked at quickly.

    Broxton does not have his 95+ fastball anymore. His slider is very hitable. It is time to look for another closer. I am not even sure Broxton is a good set up pitcher anymore.

    Do we miss Kuo? We may have won both of these games if he had been in the lineup. He would of gotten us to the 9th inning in Chicago with a 3 run lead. He would of also gotten us to the 9th inning yesterday with a 2 run lead.

    The offense and starting pitchers are doing their job. The bullpen is a mess.

  15. Bill Russell says:

    Stevie Wonder could have seen Broxton’s decline coming. And no Brooklyn, I would rather be wrong than right on this one.

    Without Kuo, the bullpen is a mess. The Sad part of this whole thing is that Garland pitched his ass off yesterday and got nothing to show for it. Maybe he should have finished the game. New Dodger Rule that starts today: Each time Kershaw, Bills, Kuroda and Garland pitch, they have to go 9 innings. Lilly is a loss day unless the offense can score more runs on the day he pitches.

    What can you do with Broxton? He can only close out games with a three run lead in the 9th with bases empty, but my Aunt Patty can do that as long as she doesn’t walk too many batters. There’s very little trade value left if any. Maybe some team has a pitching coach that wants a challange and a backup shortstop that’s not getting much playing time. Hell, give the job to McDougal, his stuff didn’t look that bad. Or Padilla might need a few more games after he was swatted around in the 8th yesterday. However the system is broke and needs to be fixed. Let’s put an add in the local paper and see who calls.

  16. Mark_Timmons says:

    Brooklyn, Bunny and Badger,

    What would you say if I told you Broxton can hit 99 MPH in the bullpen? Would you then think it was still physical?

    Broxton Blew 7 Saves in 2010.

    In 2008, he blew 8. He threw 101 MPH then.

    So he blew more when he threw harder.

    I said he would never be a good closer then and he wasn’t. You can say he was an elite closer, but the stats don’t back it up and neither do your eyes. In 2009 many proclaimed he was an elite closer. I never drank the Kool-Aid! This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

    I don’t see fear in his eyes anymore. I see resignation. He does not believe he can do it.

    I tend to agree with those who say his conditioning hurts him. Is he injured – from all indications, NO!

    Is he physically impaired – YES!

    He needs to pull a Pablo Sandavol and go to a fat farm. Maybe that will help.

    Changing the subject:

    Bud is being very smart in what he is doing. He has hired a guy who knows the ins and out of ownership – a former owner and team president with business, legal and financial background. He is now an archeologist – digging up the goods on Frank. Let’s hope that Frank is stupider than I think.

  17. the truth hurts says:

    The truth is……Broxton sucks.

  18. Badger says:

    He was just as big when he was an All Star closer. I don’t believe it’s that. I still think if you go from 99 to 94 something happened. The most logical thing is the overuse by Torre. You talk about stats? The stats told me he had an ERA of under 1 before that week and it shot up right after that week. Some see fear and resignation in his eyes. The rest of us see a loss of velocity and a seemingly flat slider. I wouldn’t doubt that he is questioning his ability now. I would too if I lost my best weapon.

    He can hit 99 in the bullpen? Interesting. I never heard that before. You say a lot of things I never hear anywhere else. And you know this how?

    Weisman: “It’s a continuation of the way he has pitched since late-June, after the 48-pitch nightmare against the Yankees at the end of a week of heavy use, when his touch abandoned him.”

    He’s right. Whatever he had has abandoned him. And it started exactly when Weisman said it did. Coincidence? I don’t think so. But then, I don’t stare at goats, I just go to the stat sheet.

    If Broxton doesn’t add another pitch – a change up, split finger or a two seamer, he just might be done for this team. I wish we had a better option for closer, but we really don’t. Just another reason why this team will be around .500.

  19. DRomo says:

    Remember I said this:
    Although Schieffer will not make immediate changes that are visable to us fans like roster moves or managerial changes. BUT, Ned and Donnie’s days are numbered. Unless the team wins it all this year I look for a new beginning after this season. Do not be surprised if Kevin Kennedy is back in the mix somewhere. Baseball is a game of connections and Kennedy has Dodger roots and a strong friendship with Schieffer.
    Also if the GM position becomes available look for the return of Kim Ng.

  20. Romo…..not sure why Donnie’s days would be numbered but, of course, you might be right…no one really knows….

  21. AnewBlueDay says:

    Many interesting thoughts above on these Dodger two road game losses — where the guys were winning near the end.

    The team worked hard in this game. Garland with 7 innings only giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. Sands with 3 hits, De Jesus with 2. Loney with some nice stops at first base.

    But when Padilla came in, it began to fall apart. He walks one, two hits, and gives up a run. We need him to be money in the bank.

    Broxton is what Broxton is — he needs more re-tooling. Agree Kuo would have made a big difference in the 9th.

    I wlll say again, Carroll is being put in a tough position. Extending playing SS for a team in the hunt. There are plays he just cannot make that other younger SS make these days.

    I am afraid another hole is in catching. Barajas is falling well below .200. Navarro back up. Thames strikes out at balls down on his ankles.

    But you have to like Jerry Sands. Like of reminds me of the young Mickey Mantle. He has come to play baseball.

  22. SpokaneBob says:

    There was a difference in the demener of Jerry Sands last night. He looked more confident and seemed to have a plan. I thought it was a very obvious change. Did anyone else see it?

    When I watched his approach and his attitude, I thought myself that he is here to stay. He believes he belongs.

  23. ThE OrIgInAl GoNzO says:

    To piggyback on what Romo said on Days being numbered for Mattingly and Ned, I think it’s pretty much the same for all the front office personnel and coaching staff. New people bring in new philosophies which may lead to letting people go. Remember how the Mcourts treated Dan Evans?

    As for Kevin Kennedy, I think he’s been out of the game for too long and many of the players might not even know who he is. If he did come back I think it’d be in a front office role. The one I think should be looking over his shoulder is Logan White. Yeah he drafts, but I don’t know if that will be enough for the new regime to keep him.

    Don’t be surprised to see this blown up and reconstructed.

  24. AnewBlueDay says:

    When this organization does finally get settled into new ownership — depending on just who that is, there will probably be some big shakeups. MLB and the new ownership will want to make a statement that they can fix a problem.

    If this were simply a small market place, most folks would not even be following it for vary long.

    Look for some of the old Dodger family names to keep coming back. Thanks to Lopes for being here now, and waking up a few players.

    Bob, I agree with you on Sands. He has come to play. What is funny, add just one or two solid players, now (SS and maybe a better catcher), and one arm, even from the minors — and these guys could win some of these games they are throwing away.

    But, the Rockies are for real.

  25. Ray says:

    Brox removed as closer….Padilla/Kuo/brox by committee going forward

  26. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Everything Badger said about Broxton.

    By the way, Broxton has hit 97 and 96 in games on a few occasions this year. Problem is, he used to hit those numbers and higher on a regular basis.

    Broxton’s K/9 is down to 7.0 this year and his BB/9 is up to 6.1. And his hits/9 is up to 10.5. Last year his K/9 was 10.5, BB/9 was 4.0, and hit/9 were at 9.2. But those numbers were made a lot better by his dominant first half (actually less than a full first half, since the 48 pitch game came in game 75, leaving another 87 to go).

    Convenient to talk about Broxton’s 8 blown saves in 2008, when he had only 14 saves. Not so convenient to mention only 6 blown saves in 2009 when he had 36 saves. And he was off to the same sort of year in 2010 until Torre decided to overwork him into oblivion. 2009 was Broxton’s best statistical year, when he his K/9 was 13.5, his BB/9 was 3.4 and his hits/9 was 5.2. And as I noted, that was continuing in 2010 until Torre decided to allow him to throw 48 pitches in an inning during a week where he had already been overworked. It’s no coincidence that his decline began at that time.

    Mark you see resignation, where I see a pitcher who recognizes that he no longer has the same dominant stuff he once had, and is quite normally lacking the confidence that he once had. Last night he was trying to change speeds and pitch, something he is not yet equipped to do. He did that because he no longer has any confidence in the stuff he used to blow by hitters. Emilio Bonifacio is a perfect example. The guy can’t hit (despite his currently inflated average), and is the type of hitter that Broxton in the past would have went after with hard stuff, both fastball and slider. He didn’t do that yesterday because he lacks confidence in his stuff.

    Coletti today said something about being concerned about Broxton. He didn’t mention Broxton’s stuff, but I have to believe that that is at the top of the list of concerns. Hopefully he’ll back up his concerns by putting Broxton on the DL and scheduling a battery of tests. As for the kind of shape that Broxton is in. I agree that he would benefit (maybe greatly) from an intense fitness program. If that’s going to happen, it will have to be in the off-season, since those types of programs tend to break a person down before building them up. Still, Broxton’s weight is probably not all fat. He’s simply a very large man, with a very large frame. But no doubt that he would probably benefit from cutting down his percentage of fat, and increasing his overall tone. But that’s another story that needs to be addressed on another day (after the season). And with his impending free agency, he likely won’t be a Dodger after this season.

    Nice to see X. Paul get a shot with the Pirates. Maybe he’ll get a chance to play over there, and take advantage of it.

  27. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Spokane,

    I agree that Sands looked confident last night. But he’s looked that way to me since the day he came up. Seems to me that he’s the type of player who goes to the plate with a plan, and executes it. He appears to be making adjustments to sliders low and away, and has very quickly established himself as a patient hitter who will take a walk when it’s given to him. As with any young hitter, I’m sure there will some regression along the way, but for the most part I’m confident that he’ll continue to make adjustments. And as he gets more comfortable on the big stage there’s a good chance he’ll begin to get better, and start to hit for power. He’s impressed me a lot, and if Loney doesn’t perk up I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised to see Sands move to first.

    It was also nice to see IDJ2 get a couple of solid hits yesterday. With Furcal out, I’d prefer to see Uribe at short and IDJ2 at second. I still think that Carroll is best suited to mostly coming off the bench. And it’s not because of the error he made last night. I’ve been saying that for a while. Aaron Miles too, I believe is best suited coming off the bench.

  28. Bobby says:

    i wouldn’t waste sands’ arm at 1b. it’s too good not to be able to be shown off at times.

    plus, loney, as bad as his hitting has been, has been beyond gold glove at 1b this year. it’s not like thames/gwynn will replace cargo anytime soon on the all star team anyway.

    i think loney will wake up eventually. if not, i think we replace him with a big time 1b. sands has the athletic ability and arm that should be in the OF, not 1b.

  29. AnewBlueDay says:

    Some of the problem with Broxton is his salary. Paying a guy big bucks, they kind of want their money’s worth out of him.

    Well, sorry, that is not happening right now. So, set him in the pen, doing some mop up work, earlier 5th or 6th type of inning stuff — and re-tool himself. He can do it with some good coaching instructors. So it takes him six months or a year, he will find it.

  30. Joe says:

    To me he should have challenged Bonifacio who has hit 1 home run in his career in 833 AB. Bonifacio beats you by his speed so you have to make him hit his way on. Walking him caused the chain reaction by having to face Ramirez with the threat of the stolen base taking attention away from a good hitter. In the past he may have been able to overpower Cousins by striking him out but he did get Counins to hit a weak grounder. The pitch to Infantie was horrible regardless of Sands misjudging it, it was a screaming liner out there.

  31. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Nothing wrong with having a strong arm at 1B to make throws across the diamond to 2B and 3B. We have that now with Loney. If he hits, then fine, keep Loney at 1B and Sands in the outfield. But if Loney doesn’t begin to hit consistently, then he will ultimately have to be replaced at 1B. It could be Sands, or if the Dodgers manage to get a new owner between now and free agency, it could be Pujols or Fielder. But for now, that’s dreaming.

    Speaking of Loney. Who would have thunk that he would get 4 hits in a game, and the Dodgers still couldn’t score? Well, at least he’s over the Mendoza line.

  32. Badger says:

    I just read that what Colletti said might have been twitter b.s.. Why would undermine his manager like that? Doesn’t make sense. Even he isn’t that dumb.

    On Broxton, well said Brooklyn. Obviously you and I agree about him. And to your point about resignation or loss of confidence – I don’t have the psychic ablity that Mark has, but I won’t go as far as ‘resignation’. I think the man really desires to be what usta was, but can’t throw the ball the way he usta did. You and I both believe it is no coincidence that he was a flame thrower before June 28th, and ever since he has been struggling. When you throw close to 100, you can get away with throwing over the plate or dishing up an occasional flat slider. When you are struggling to get past 94, you have to hit the corners, and you have to have more than two pitches. The difference between 94 and 99 is about 3 feet, which is the difference between a line drive and a swing and a miss. If this is all he has left, Honeycutt had better get to work on a two seamer, a split finger or a circle change.

    Broxton had a B.S. without giving up an earned run. If you are going to ask the closer to be perfect, he had better have perfect fielding behind him. And an occasional great defensive play at the end of a game would be nice. How many times have we seen a Dodger on Plays of the Week this year?

    Paul will get the chance in Pittsburgh that he never got here. Give the guy 300 at bats with regular playing time and then we can see what he really has.

    Loney with 4 hits in a loss. I sure hope this is the beginning of a hot streak for him.

  33. Bill Russell says:

    I agree with Bobby about Sands. He is an outfielder now. If he develops knee issues, he will become a 1st baseman with a strong throwing arm to 3rd.

    Not sure why we would want to take a year rehabbing Broxton Roger. As someone from above said, he probably won’t be with the team next season anyway. We would just be getting him ready to play for the Diamondbacks.

    I wonder if Dodger Stadium has changed radar guns over the past year? When Broxton was throwing 100 MPH, it seemed to me that it was always recorded in LA. It always seemed like he didn’t reach these real high numbers on the road but I may be wrong about that. If he still throws 97 once in awhile currently, I don’t understand why he throws between 92 – 95 most of the time now. Is he trying to pitch and not over throw the ball? If he’s injuried, why is he still throwing 96 – 97 sometimes? I’m baffled.

    And one other point to the 100 pitch Torre theory from last year. Why was Broxton still effective for another week after the NY Yankee massacre from last year? If he developed arm issues/dead arm syndrome from the Yankee game, why was he still able to pitch the following week (effectively and at the Allstar game with no known side effects. I feel Broxton could create his only episode of Outer Limits after the Allstar break. Anyway, who knows what happened.

    The bottom line is that he’s currently not working out and how are we going to move forward? My vote goes to Macdougal. It couldn’t hurt.

  34. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    McDougal can definitely hurt. The guy doesn’t have a clue where the strike zone is. Or simply put, anyone complaining about Broxton’s control doesn’t want McDougal on the mound when it counts.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but as I recall it, Broxton didn’t exactly blow away the hitters in the All-Star game. And I don’t remember if he was effective or not in the week following the Yankee debacle. But certainly it wasn’t long after that game that he started his slide. Also, the kind of overuse he was subjected to can be cumulative. So it may not catch up to him the next time out, but the seeds were sown.

  35. Badger says:

    Broxton threw another 4.2 before the All Star break, giving up 2 earned, I think that’s what it was, then pitched in the All Star game, then somewhere right after that in July Torre had him throw another 44 pitch outing. It started going downhill shortly after the bizarre 99 pitches in 5 day thing. Maybe it took a few days for the arm to just say “ENOUGH!”. I am not a Major League pitching coach, but I do have an advanced degree in Kinesiology (not really, Adaptive PE) and it is my “used to be a professional” opinion that you cannot throw a power guy that many pitches without risking damage.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=broxtjo01&t=p&year=2010

  36. Bill Russell says:

    Kinesiology? I thought you were going to say Broxtonology. (The study of pig headedness)
    The Lakers looked good tonight. I was saying Kobe shouldn’t play the balance of the series, However what the hell do I know……

    MacDougal baby……

  37. Bill Russell says:

    Thanks for listing Broxton’s stat’s Badge, Yes it was 4.2 innings with 6 strikeouts after the Yankee nightmare and before the Allstar break. Not too shabby. I’d take that now.

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