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UPDATE: The Dodgers are going to go closer-by-committee … or are they?

Apr 26, 2011, 5:01 PM EDT

Broxton_Jonathan

UPDATE:  Well, this could be awkward.  Broxton said this afternoon that Mattingly told him that he’s still the closer. That’s going to make for an interesting day in the Dodgers’ clubhouse. Might make an even more interesting day for Ned Colletti who said something quite different on the radio today.

3:30 PM: As readers pointed out to me, I was a bit hard on Jonathan Broxton in ATH this morning, failing to grasp that the ninth inning meltdown last night was more a function of the Dodgers’ defensive problems than they were Broxton’s doing. There was that Carroll error, but one of the “singles” Broxton gave up was really a case of Jerry Sands badly misplaying a ball in left.  Five outs is tough to get, but Broxton was forced to do it. Apologies for whiffing on that. Such is the problem with reading box scores after the fact. You assume singles are singles, and such assumptions aren’t always safe.

Not that all is right with Broxton. His velocity is way down over the past couple of years and Don Mattingly’s confidence in him is obviously low.  As such, Ned Colletti said on KABC radio today that the Dodgers are going to shift to a closer-by-committee approach for a while. “Hopefully, we can give Donnie three choices at the end of the game … until Broxton gets his confidence back.” Those three choices are going to be Broxton, Vicente Padilla and Hong Chih-Kuo.

It will be interesting to see who Mattingly uses in practice. Because really, Colletti’s comments seem geared less towards creating some sort of set rotation of game-enders and seems geared more towards giving Mattingly some cover to avoid Broxton without having to answer pointed questions all the time.

  1. losburrosinblue - Apr 26, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    As I said in the comments on ATH – I don’t think you can really put any blame on Sands for last night. I think the blame goes to Broxton, Carroll (who had a good game besides that play) and Mattingly. Sands is not a left-fielder. He’s a first baseman and he’s been playing some pretty darn good outfield for that matter. Broxton has been poor all year and was last year, too. He’d be fine in relief, I believe, but there’s no reason to keep him out there with the bases loaded in a tied game. Mattingly has to pull him out in that situation.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 26, 2011 at 5:22 PM

      Exactly. While nobody should be giving up on Broxton entirely, acknowledge that he is struggling right now, anticipate it a little bit, and have plan B ready if you see some obvious signs of trouble.

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