Tag:Jonathan Broxton
Posted on: September 5, 2010 11:20 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2010 11:22 pm

Broxton won't be used in save situations

Jonathan Broxton Not that it came up in Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Giants, but Joe Torre said before the game that he would no longer use Jonathan Broxton in save situations.

"I think we have to just put him in situations not in the ninth inning, I mean a save situation in the ninth inning," Torre told MLB.com . "And just try to get some appearances under his belt. Wherever we go, whether we're going to get to the postseason or not, I think this is very important: that he finishes this season with a good taste in his mouth."

Broxton gave up a two-run homer to Juan Uribe in the ninth inning on Saturday, his sixth blown save in 28 opportunities.

Torre had replaced Broxton with Hong-Chih Kuo as his closer, although he was still using Broxton in some matchup situations and when Kuo was unavailable. That duty will now fall to rookie Kenley Jansen.

Broxton is under contract for $7 million next season. Broxton is 5-5 with a 3.70 ERA and 22 saves.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 1, 2010 2:20 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 3:22 pm

Chapman has fastest pitch since beginning of 2008

so?Pitch speed Want an idea of just how historic Aroldis Chapman's debut was ?

Even though Chapman was making his major-league debut, he's already solidified himself as the fastest-throwing pitcher the game has seen in a while. SABR has learned that Chapman's 102.7 mph fastball is the fastest thrown since the beginning of 2008, using pitch f/x numbers accurate to fractions.

Joel Zumaya also has a 102.7 mph mark -- two of them, in fact. Both came in 2009, seven days apart. The first was against the Cubs on June 23 when he blew a fastball by Milton Bradley. On the 30th, he unleashed another heater against Matt Holliday that ranked 102.7 mph.

Zumaya has an additional 102.6 mph headers, one coming the day after his unleashing against Bradley, this time showing Mike Fontenot what a fastball is all about. The other one was also against Matt Holliday on the 30th, showing a supreme test of endurance.

Placing sixth on the list is Jonathan Broxton at 102.6 mph on July 3, 2009, downing Kevin Kouzmanoff of the Padres. Bobby Parnell also joins Chapman in 2010 heaters, unveiling a 102.5 mph sizzler against Chris Johnson of the Astros on August 18.

And then the man of the hour, Chapman, checks in with his own 102.5 mark against Jonathan LuCroy.

How fast is Chapman's fastball?

Well, Louisville Slugger is more than happy to tell you, running calculations that show that Chapman's fabled 104-mph fastball (of which we technically have yet to see) takes 0.36 seconds from mound to plate, factoring in 60 feet and six inches of distance between the mound and home plate, plus a five-foot stride.

How fast is 0.36 seconds? Well, the average speed of a human's eye blink checks in at 300-400 milliseconds ... or 0.3-0.4 seconds. If you're standing at the plate right as Chapman unleashes the fury from hell, the ball will be nestled in the catcher's mitt before your eyes open again.

Now, let's just hope Chapman avoids the constant spate of injuries that have played Zumaya since hitting the majors. Between Zumaya and Stephen Strasburg, it has yet to be proven that a pitcher can consistently hit triple-digits and not break down.

 -- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 13, 2010 10:29 am
Edited on: August 13, 2010 1:11 pm

As Dodgers' hopes fade, Broxton's job in danger

Jonathan Broxton Jonathan Broxton's struggles continued Thursday night, as a walk-off win by the Phillies pushed the Dodgers to nine games behind first place.

Broxton came in with a three-run lead after Ronald Belisario gave up four runs in the eighth to give the Phillies a fighting chance at what was then a 9-6 lead by L.A. Needless to say, Broxton blew the lead and handed Philadelphia a 10-9 victory.

Broxton hit Placido Polanco to lead off the ninth, then walked Mike Sweeney and Jayson Werth.

"[I'm] just a little wild right now," Broxton told MLB.com. "Every pitcher goes through it. Hopefully I'll get back to my normal self out there."

No kidding. After getting the season off to a start expected of the massive right-hander and walking just seven in 38 1/3 innings (not including intentional walks), Broxton is at an insane 11 in his last eight innings. His whiff rate has also tumbled from 12.9 to 5.6. Yes, eight innings isn't enough to draw conclusions on, but there's no question Broxton is in a massive funk -- and the funk began before these eight innings, stretching back to late June. After the game, manager Joe Torre refused to say Broxton would remain the closer outright.

"Let the smoke clear before you get me to say something I haven't thought about," Torre said of Broxton's implosion. "He's a big boy, he'll be all right. Long-term, I'm not worried about him." 

Potential replacements for Broxton include rookie fireballing sensation Kenley Jansen, who was a catcher just last season. Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo could also pick up some saves.

Even though Broxton created his predicament  with his wildness, he wasn't entirely to blame -- although he shouldered it all after the game, refusing to pin the loss on anyone else -- like Casey Blake.

With the bases juiced, Broxton then induced a grounder to third baseman Blake, who had just entered the game as a defensive replacement. The potential double-play ball went through his legs, scoring two runs and setting up Carlos Ruiz' walk-off double.

"One of those ... You don't call it do-or-die, but an in-between, and if you don't come up with it, it kind of makes you look like an idiot, and tonight I looked like an idiot," said Blake. "I've got to make that play, bottom line."

Ruiz then cranked a long double that bounced off the left-center field wall, sparking the histrionics.

"I always like that moment," said Ruiz. "I was going to the plate relaxed. I was thinking [manager] Charlie [Manuel] showed his confidence to get a big hit, because right there you have a bunt situation. So I said, 'You have to do something.' I definitely was looking for a good pitch to hit, and he threw me a slider right down the middle, and I made good contact."

While the Phillies were bouncing around enjoying the moment and ensuring they stay two games behind the Braves for the NL East Division lead, the Dodgers were solemnly walking off.

"That's a dagger," Blake said of the loss.

You bet it is, as L.A.'s current 2.2 percent chance to make the playoffs means you can stick a fork in the team.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 21, 2010 9:39 pm

Broxton should have faced Torres, officials say

Don Mattingly In Tuesday night's game, hitting coach Don Mattingly was standing in for manager Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer, who had been ejected from the game.

In the ninth inning, Mattingly visited pitcher Jonathan Broxton on the mound after walking Aubrey Huff. Mattingly then turned to go back to the bench before turning around to speak to first baseman James Loney, inadvertently making two trips to the mound even as home plate umpire Adrian Johnson yelled "No, no, no."

If a coach visits the mound for the same pitcher twice, the pitcher must be removed from the game, according to rule 8.06 (b). The umpires forced Broxton from the game, making George Sherrill come in and give up a two-run double to Andres Torres that won the game for the Giants.

However, the umpires erred in the ruling, league officials told the San Francisco Chronicle . There is an additional comment about the rule stating that if the manager makes two trips with the same batter at the plate, the manager must be ejected and the pitcher forced to face the batter before also being removed from the game.

This rule is in place to prevent a manager from getting a pitching matchup in his favor. If a new pitcher comes into the game, the opposing team is allowed to pinch-hit and the new pitcher must face the batter -- the manager who brought in the pitcher cannot bring in a new pitcher who may be better suited to getting the pinch-hitter out. The additional comment of rule 8.06 (b) of ejecting the manager (provided the manager has been warned about his possible ejection) and forcing the pitcher to face the batter is to ensure the defense's manager cannot pull such a tactic if a pinch-hitter is inserted.

Therefore, the umpires forced Broxton to face Torres, which the Dodgers certainly would have preferred instead of Sherrill having to come into the game. Mattingly, on the other hand, would have been allowed to remain in the game as there was not ample warning by the umpire as to the rule.

However, there is no recourse as the Dodgers did not lodge a protest as to the decision. The issue is over, and the umpires have been informed of the mistake.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 21, 2010 10:25 am
Edited on: July 21, 2010 11:32 am

All kinds of Torre trouble

Joe Torre Dodgers manager Joe Torre is making news in a couple of situations where he wasn't even present.

He wasn't present in the late stages of the Dodgers' bizarre game Tuesday night against the Giants, getting the thumb in the seventh inning when the rivals' beanball war escalated after both benches had been warned.

Bench coach Bob Schaefer had been ejected earlier, so after Torre's departure managing duties fell to hitting coach Don Mattingly, who screwed up royally. Mattingly went out to the mound to visit struggling closer Jonathan Broxton, and after taking a few steps toward the dugout, doubled back to say something else to Broxton.

As Giants manager Bruce Bochy helpfully pointed out to umpires, that constituted two mound visits, and once you visit a pitcher twice in one inning, you have to pull him from the game. Broxton was out, George Sherrill suddenly had to enter the game, and he and Travis Schlichting blew up as the Giants took a 7-5 comeback win.

Meanwhile, announcer Tim McCarver, who you might know is prone to a tiny bit of hyperbole, was apologizing for comments about Torre that earned him a scolding from the Anti-Defamation League.

What? All McCarver did was look at the Yankees' treatment of Torre, their former longtime manager, and compare the team to Nazis.
"You remember some of those despotic leaders in World War II, primarily in Russia and Germany, where they used to take those pictures that they had ... taken of former generals who were no longer alive, they had shot 'em," McCarver said during a Saturday broadcast. "They would airbrush the pictures, and airbrushed the generals out of the pictures. In a sense, that's what the Yankees have done with Joe Torre. They have airbrushed his legacy. I mean, there's no sign of Joe Torre at the [New Yankee] Stadium. And, that's ridiculous. I don't understand it."
McCarver, never the apologizing type, sort of apologized Monday: "Although my analogy was inappropriate, in my opinion the underlying point remains true," McCarver told the New York Daily News.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 28, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: June 28, 2010 12:35 pm

Dodgers bullpen struggling

Jonathan Broxton The Dodgers will win or lose the National League West on the strength of its bullpen, the Los Angeles Times ' Bill Shaikin writes .

During the Dodgers' series with the Yankees, manager Joe Torre seemed only to trust closer Jonathan Broxton out of the bullpen. It led to victory on Saturday, but defeat and the loss of a four-run lead on Sunday.

Writes Shaikin, the Dodgers have two reliable starters and three reliable relievers: Broxton, Ronald Belisario and Hong-Chih Kuo.

Broxton leads the Dodgers' bullpen in innings, one of just three closers in the big leagues to do so. Broxton has allowed seven earned runs in 33 2/3 innings -- four of those on Sunday -- and has 16 saves, as well as a 7-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Shaikin says it's uncertain whether the uncertain Dodgers ownership will open its pocketbooks (or prospect cache) for middle relief help. The problem is middle relief is one of the toughest commodities to evaluate and acquire. Add to the inherent difficulties with a weak available class makes it a tough fix, even for a team with deep pockets and prospect coffers.

"Pitching is the only way we're going to do something special," Torre told the Times . However, the Dodgers hardly have a special staff and odds are against them striking gold in the trade market.

UPDATE: Recently designated Pirates left-hander Jack Taschner has been signed by the team to a minor-league contract.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com