As the “Game Over” swag gets harder to shift with Eric Gagne on the DL, the LA Times’ Bill Shaikin writes about the Dodgers’ possible closer of the future.
The Dodgers just put one of their top minor league starters in the bullpen, and they might have uncovered a fireballing reliever.
He’s right-hander Jonathan Broxton, (above) 22, who struck out 14 and walked none in winning his last two starts at double-A Jacksonville. The Dodgers moved him to the bullpen last week, and a fastball usually clocked at 93-95 mph suddenly jumped to 96-98 mph.
The move coincided with the potential season-ending injury to closer Eric Gagne, but the Dodgers are not counting on Broxton ascending to the Los Angeles bullpen as Yhency Brazoban did last season. Brazoban, who opened last year in the Jacksonville bullpen, ascended to triple-A Las Vegas on July 5 and to the Dodgers on July 31.
The Dodgers did not move Broxton to the bullpen at the request of another club that might be interested in trading for him, assistant general manager Kim Ng said. The Colorado Rockies, dangling starting pitcher Joe Kennedy, asked the Oakland Athletics for hard-throwing reliever Jairo Garcia. The Dodgers have some interest in Kennedy, but his last starts have been unimpressive.
The Dodgers have not decided whether Broxton will remain a reliever. He is 4-2 with a 3.33 earned-run average, with 73 strikeouts in 73 innings.