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Reds deem Jonathan Broxton ready to pitch … and close?

Apr 8, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

Jonathan Broxton Getty Images

Reds manager Bryan Price has already said that Jonathan Broxton would take over as Aroldis Chapman‘s closer fill-in once healthy, so now that he’s off the disabled list it’ll be interesting to see if the big right-hander immediately jumps into ninth-inning duties.

Broxton has been sidelined since undergoing elbow surgery in August, but threw back-to-back scoreless innings on a minor-league rehab assignment at Double-A on Friday and Saturday to convince the Reds he’s ready.

Broxton has plenty of closing experience, including 27 saves as recently as 2012, but he was mediocre for the Reds before being shut down last season. He’ll try to hold the gig until Chapman is ready to return from facial fractures, which could happen as soon as late May.

  1. jm91rs - Apr 8, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Price’s closer by committee approach before Broxton got back was a sign that he isn’t as stuck on having a 9th inning shut down guy as Dusty was. Just use match ups to your advantage until Chapman comes back.

    • pmbryant - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      Are you sure the closer-by-committee wasn’t a stopgap measure by Price until he knew Broxton would be ready? Because I think Price had Broxton in mind all along, he just needed someone to close games until Broxton was ready.

      • jm91rs - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Actually I’m sure that Broxton was the plan all along. I just like that he didn’t try to name a guy before then, and I’m a little disappointed that he’s anointing Broxton as that guy so quickly. I don’t think Broxton is head and shoulders above anyone in that bullpen and I really appreciated that Price was willing to let guys go 2 innings if that match ups made sense. Broxton wasn’t amazing last year, it would be nice to use him in mop up duty for awhile until he show’s he’s good enough.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      I agree Jm. No need to hurry or rush to make a decision on using someone you aren’t necessarily comfortable with.
      Your post is on point. Use match up to hold the fort until Aroldis is back. It’s still waay early.

  2. jm91rs - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Latos just got scratched from his rehab start so I’m guessing he’ll be gone a little while longer. Broxton is going to be needed because it looks like Simon needs to stay in the Rotation awhile longer.

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