Mattingly continues to back Broxton

Mattingly continues to back Broxton

Mattingly continues to back Broxton
MIAMI -- The Jonathan Broxton talk continued on Wednesday, as manager Don Mattingly continued to defend his closer.

"At this point, for me, Broxton's the closer," said Mattingly. "He has one blown save. He hasn't been the Broxton we've seen -- dominating and it's over. But you saw Mariano [Rivera] blow two saves last week. At this point, I don't see any reason to hit the panic button and make a change."

Of course, Mattingly's options for a replacement aren't plentiful. Hong-Chih Kuo is struggling in a rehab assignment, and Vicente Padilla is going through Spring Training during the season after arm surgery.

Kenley Jansen has the most dominating stuff on the current staff, even with an 8.03 ERA. Nine of Jansen's 11 runs were allowed in two games. Meanwhile, he has 20 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings.

Mattingly again emphasized that in Broxton's only blown save Monday night, his main mistake was walking Emilio Bonifacio. The two runs he allowed were unearned after Jamey Carroll's error.

"If he makes that play, we don't even have this conversation," said Mattingly.

The manager conceded, however, that Broxton still hasn't regained his two-time All-Star form because of command and confidence issues.

"He didn't walk anybody the first half of last year," Mattingly said. "He was getting ahead in counts, and that puts hitters in a little bit of doubt. Late last year, we didn't see the velocity. This year, we've seen 96, 97 [mph], but it's not always there. To me, last year was confidence. It's hard to measure.

"Look at Andre [Ethier]. He knows he'll get a hit, and if he doesn't get a hit his first time up, he'll get one next time. But once you struggle, it takes a little bit."