By Matt Snyder
Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bone spur and bruise to his right (throwing) elbow. (LA Times via Twitter) Right-hander Kenley Jansen has been recalled to take Broxton's place in the bullpen as a corresponding move.
Broxton will not throw at all for 2-3 weeks, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com has relayed. The ligament is fine and there are no floating bone chips, but the bone bruise makes it painful to throw at all, so he'll be shut down completely. He could have pitched in three to four days, but that would have eliminated the ability to pitch in back-to-back games. So Broxton will just shut it down for a while. That means he's going to have to build back his arm strength after that 2-3 weeks with no activity, so it will be quite a while before he's all the way back and ready to return to the Dodgers.
Broxton has had major issues early in the 2011 season, especially with a major decrease in velocity from where he was when dominant in 2009. In his last outing, against the Cubs May 3, he was only hitting 90 on the radar gun and couldn't find the strike zone (only three of 11 pitches were strikes). On the season, Broxton has a 5.68 ERA and 1.90 WHIP in 12 2/3 innings. His strikeout rate (7.1 per nine innings) is far lower than his career mark of 11.5 K/9 and he's never been knocked around like this. So news of the injury wasn't surprising.
Of course, Broxton's agent said Thursday night there was no structural damage and the Dodgers wouldn't immediately place Broxton on the DL, instead waiting a few days to see how his arm responded. So much for that.
With Broxton on the shelf, the Dodgers have said they'll use both Vicente Padilla in save situations. He's already had a DL stint thus far in 2011, so it's possible Hong-Chih Kuo gets some chances to avoid overworking Padilla. Padilla has been effective this season out of the bullpen, sporting a 1.50 ERA in six innings. He converted his only save opportunity. Kuo's had some trouble in his limited action so far, but had a 1.20 ERA in 60 innings last season and converted 12 of his 13 save chances.
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