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Royals sticking with Jonathan Broxton as closer

Apr 13, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

Ned Yost took his time announcing that Jonathan Broxton and not Greg Holland would replace the injured Joakim Soria as closer, but the Royals manager wasted no time making it clear that he’s sticking with Broxton in the ninth-inning role despite an ugly blown save Wednesday.

Broxton walked two batters, hit two more, and allowed two runs to turn a 4-3 lead into a 5-4 loss against the A’s, but Yost was quick to point out that the big right-hander’s raw stuff was still plenty impressive.

“He just lost command of his fastball,” Yost told Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. “But he’s a two-time All-Star and he has really rebounded nicely from this arm surgery. He’s got his velocity back up to 97, 98, with an 86-, 87-mph slider, which is a killer, hard slider.”

Sure enough, Pitch-F/X data shows that Broxton has averaged 95.2 miles per hour with fastball and 87.8 mph with his slider, up from 94.0 mph and 86.4 mph last season before undergoing elbow surgery. It remains to be seen if Broxton can reestablish himself as a dominant reliever, but velocity wise he’s back.

  1. stex52 - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Just on principle, it’s dumb to decide anything about a MLB player based on a single bad performance. But boy, that was one for the books.

    • elliotmalin - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      What about the last couple of years for him with the Dodgers? Hopefully he is able to recover and get back to where he was a few years ago.

  2. jimbo1949 - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Royals sucking with Jonathan Broxton as closer.

    At least that’s what it looked like at first glance,

  3. royalsfaninfargo - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Holland or Crow would be the likely picks, but I am going to trust Yost on this.

  4. micker716 - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    “He just lost command of his fastball,”

    Well, as long as it wasn’t anything important. Plenty of pitchers are successful without command of their primary pitch.

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